TOK: Natural Science VS Human Science-Dare to Compare

Natural Sciences Question:

  • What health problems arise from this?

Human Sciences Question

  • How are businesses affected after the eruption of the volcano?

RS: What health problems arise from the eruption?
Hypothesis: More health problems arise due to the sudden eruption of the volcano, causing unexpected injuries/health problems

  • Look at hospital records to collect data
  • Interview people who were affected by the volcano
  • Examine and analyse autopsies, collect data


  • Spreadsheet, to formulate graphs analysing trends

RS: How are businesses affected after the eruption of the volcano
Hypothesis: Businesses are negatively affected because of impact on resources as well as decrease of tourists

  • First hand interviews with businesses
  • Surveys asking how businesses were affected
  • Examine economic data


  • Spreadsheets to sort answers and formulate pie charts

Compare the reliability/certainty of the knowledge your experts will acquire:

  • In NS, scientists are able to look at “non-emotional” data taking away/decreasing a human error factor, however in HS, because there was just a volcano eruption, results from people who were interviewed could be subject to subjective opinions
  • NS is based on more factual evidence, while HS is based off of human behaviour leading HS to be lower validity

To improve validity, Human scientists can take a larger amount of trials to decrease uncertainty having, this allows their experiment to have a more representative population. They could also interview different industries to get a good perspective on all businesses.

In general, we can say that HS is a very subjective subject which is based on human behaviour, if scientists are taking information from a tragic incident, they must take into account human behaviour as well as human behaviour after an incident as emotions fluctuate.

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