Can human behavior be studied scientifically?

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The answer to this question depends very much on what we mean by the words ‘behavior' and ‘scientifically'. Those who believe that science can concern itself only with the study of external objects and events accept the view of the behaviorists that only the external manifestations of human behavior can be studied scientifically, not inner psychological experiences. Thus, the focus of the social sciences has been on studying the external behavioral characteristics of individuals and groups which can be observed and often measured ‘objectively', as objects, by our senses. In turn the social sciences tend to discount or ignore the inner ‘subjective' experience of human beings, because psychological events are not directly observable externally and cannot be independently verified by multiple observers. Limiting the scientific study of humanity to externalities simply because that lends itself more readily to observation has ultimately led many scientists to ignore or even deny the ... more
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