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Special Topics in Social Sciences Cheat Sheet (DRAFT) by

SOCSCI 4-2; Preliminary exam reviewer

This is a draft cheat sheet. It is a work in progress and is not finished yet.

Social Sciences

A group of academic discip­lines dedicated to examining society.
Branch of science studies on how people interact with each other, behave, develop as a culture, and influence the world.
Vital Focus
Helps to explain how society works; exploring everything from the triggers of economic growth and causes unempl­oyment to what makes people happy.
Helps to shape corporate strategies and government policies.
As a Field of Study
Examines the relati­onships between indivi­duals and societies, as well as the develo­pment and operation of societies, rather than studying the physical world.
These academic discip­lines rely more heavily on interp­ret­ation and qualit­ative research method­olo­gies.
Humanities and Social Science
What separates them is the technique applied: Humanities are viewed as more philos­ophical and less scient­ific.
Both studies human beings
Early Education of Social Sciences
In the US, it begins in elementary school and progresses throughout middle and highschool with an emphasis on core social sciences.
At collegiate level, more specia­lized discip­lined are offered.
The social science include Anthro­pology, Economics, Political Science, Sociology, Social Psycho­logy, etc.


The history of economic thought goes back all the way to Ancient Greek philos­ophers such as Plato, Aristotle, and Xenophon.
Their works laid the foundation for nearly all the social sciences, economics included.
15-18th Century
Travel became easier and more nations were able to partake in intern­ational trade, the school of mercan­tilism grew.
Suddenly the economic actions of many nations were motivated by the belief that a country should maximize exports and minimize imports.
Adam Smith
Father of Modern Economics and one of the writers that challenged the predom­inating school of thoought.
Along with Jean Jacques Rousseau and John Locke, promoted the idea of a self-r­egu­lating economy and introduced the concept of classical economics.
Wrote the book, Wealth of Nations and it is still studied today and admired by many politi­cians.
Karl Marx
Famously challenged capitalism as an approp­riate economic model by placing an emphasis on the labor theory of value.
His critique of capitalism has had a huge impact on many thinkers.
John Maynard Keynes
The Keynesian School of Economics is very popular amongst today's economists
Keynesian Economics
Considered a "­dem­and­-si­de" macro-­eco­nomic theory that focuses on changes in the economy over the short run and was the first to separate the study of economic behavior and markets based on individual incentives from the study of broad national economic aggregate variables and constr­ucts.

Examples of Social Sciences

Nowadays, colleges and univer­sities offer numerous social science programs.
African American studies, anthro­pology, demogr­aphy, economics, ethnic studies, gender and women's studies, geography, history, lingui­stics, political science, psycho­logy, and sociology.
Master's degree and Ph.D. programs at colleges and univer­sities offer further opport­unities for deeper specia­liz­ation.


Economic state where people are experi­encing scarcity or the lack of certain commod­ities that are required for the lives of human beings.
A multi-­faceted concept; inclusive of political, economic, and social.
French word; means poor.

History of Social Sciences

Can be traced back to the ancient Greeks.
The lives they led and their early studies into human nature, the state, and mortality helped to shape Western civili­zation.
Age of Enligh­tenment
This is the Age of Reason in which social science as an academic field of study which flourished through much of the 18th century in Europe.
Adam Smith, Voltaire, Jean-J­acques Rousseau, Denis Diderot, Immanuel Kant, and David Hume were among the big intell­ectuals at the time who laid the founda­tions for the study of social science in the Western World,
Indivi­duals began to take a more discip­lined approach to quantify their observ­ations of society, and over time, similar aspects of society, such as lingui­stics and psychology were separated into unique fields of study.


Psychology is one of the fastes­t-g­rowing fields of social science.
Began as a medical field of study in the late 1800s.
American Psychology Associ­ation
Formed in 1892 enlisting 26 members.
Sigmund Freud
His work throughout the early 20th century.
Interp­ret­ations of Dreams (1900)
Helped to bring theories of psychology into the Western World.
The very first edition of the Diagnostic and Statis­tical Manual of Mental Disorders was published.
Even in the first quarter of the 21st century, however, psychology has continued to see rapid growth.

Social Sciences and Business

Subject Matter of Social Sciences
Human behavior, relati­ons­hips, attitudes, and how these things have changed over time is a useful inform­ation for any successful business to possess.
Naturally, the social studies field of economics is key to the business sector.
Behavioral Economists
Who uses psychology to analyze and predict the economic decisi­on-­making processes of indivi­duals and instit­utions.
They are increa­singly sought after by some of the world's largest brands.
However, even the concepts of social sciences such as demogr­aphy, political science, and
sociology are frequently applied in many different business contexts.

The fields of advert­ising and marketing, for example, often use theories of human behavior from these fields to more effici­ently market their products to consumers.

Social Science Careers

Typical Careers in Social Sciences
Working as an economist, psycho­logist, social worker, or in law, govern­ment, non-pr­ofits as well as working in academia.
The Use of Economic Analysis and Quanti­tative Methods
Many industries utilize these to study and forecast business, sales, and other market trends.
One of the most sought­-after workers in the US (according to projec­tions by the Bureau of Labor Statis­tics).
Projected changes in employment from 2019-2029 is 14%.
Other social science related careers are expected to grow at a rate of 4%, which is the average for all occupa­tions.

Types of Poverty

Absolute Poverty
It is extreme poverty or abject poverty.
Involves scarcity of basic food, clean water, shelter, education, and inform­ation.