"Social scientists have struggled with all these questions for generations, and continue to do so. Yet many people feel they could answer these questions themselves—simply by examining their own experience. Unlike problems in physics and biology, therefore, where we need experts to tell us what is true, when the topic is human or social behavior, we’re all “experts,” so we trust our own opinions at least as much as we trust those of social scientists.
Nor is this tendency necessarily a bad reaction—any theory should be consistent with empirical reality, and in the case of social science, that reality includes everyday experience. But not everything about the social world is transparent from common sense alone—in part because not everything that seems like common sense turns out to be true, and in part because common sense is extremely good at making the world seem more orderly than it really is."
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