TOK: Economics

“All models are wrong but some are useful.”

Within the natural sciences and human sciences, models are used for similar purposes. One of these purposes is to represent abstract or complex ideas in a simple way to aid understanding. For example, in Economics, the supply and demand curve is used to represent the law of supply and demand and also show how relationship between the two. In the natural sciences, the Bohr-Rutherford model is used to help simply explain the structure of an atom. However, in both AOKs there are also limitations to using these models. These models simplify the concepts and also make many assumptions, meaning they may not accurately reflect what happens in the real world. For example, the supply and demand diagram is based on ceteris paribus, meaning it doesn’t account for other factors that may influence it. Thus, we cannot use these models to learn about what exactly happens in real life – they only provide a general overview.

Although these models are not completely accurately, they are still useful as they help explain intangible concepts and also usually apply to most situations, allowing us to make predictions based on generalized trends. In the human sciences, many of these models help us make predictions about the economy’s behavior in the future, while in the natural sciences, many models help us understand more complex and abstract ideas. Thus, these models are still useful even though they may not be completely accurate.


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