soft science


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A field of study in which accrual of objective and reproducible—‘hard’—data is difficult as the field examines societal phenomena and dynamics susceptible to subjective interpretation
Examples Anthropology, economics, psychology, sociology, social medicine

soft science

Any science or discipline, e.g., sociology or criminology, in which drawing firm conclusions is complicated by numerous variables.
See also: science
References in periodicals archive ?
We cannot expect the same sort of objective knowledge we gain from studying in the hard sciences as we explore in the soft sciences (such as is the field of management).
The tribe has invited a graduate student to document our approach of combining the hard and soft sciences for restoring Mill Creek.
As to a difference between the hard sciences and the soft sciences, I think most people in physics, chemistry, and biology recognize the difference between the natural sciences and the social sciences.
He said the program balances hard and soft sciences, merges research and development, sets up a system for adapting and learning; focuses the right type of science at the right level, and changes scientific culture and organization.
teacher, having a background in both the hard and soft sciences that helped prepare him for this adventure.
As a framework for illustrating the differences between the old and new ways of thinking, consider regression analysis, a popular technique used by both the hard and soft sciences to model worldly phenomena.