A Short Introduction to Human Sciences

Uomo Vitruviano ImageSince this is my first post to my website, I decided that I wanted to give you a short introduction to Human Sciences. In a nut shell, human science is an interdisciplinary field that uses empirical processes to study the biological and sociocultural aspects of human life. It aims to show how people interact with their environment, and how the world in turn affects us. It encompasses so many different fields and seeks to address multidimensional human issues.

For me, human science is about asking the big questions about our existence, but using science and data to make postulations rather than taking a purely philosophical stand point. In fact, what makes human science unique is that it has a very distinct phenomenological methodology – it makes use of both sensory and psychological experience to draw data from. Continue reading

Unconventional Things Children Can Learn at Summer Camp


As a student of the human sciences, I always believe that the earlier we can introduce children to the field, the better it will be. This is because human science are an important, even vital, part of society and the way our world works. The importance of human sciences, of course, is only one of the reasons why we chould foster interest in our children.

Unfortunately, human sciences aren’t exactly the kind of thing to interest younger crowds. This is why we will have to find a way to teach them without boring them. Naturally if you just teach it to them as you would teach it in a classroom, chances are that they will become bored of it and will not be able to pick it up.

The task then is to find an interesting and fun way to teach them human sciences. Human sciences don’t always make it onto a school’s curriculum, which is why it will most likely have to be taught to children outside of school. Summer camp is a good idea for how we can do that.

Camps held in the summer don’t have to follow a curriculum. They can be about anything, as long as they keep to the theme of the camp. So why not teach some human sciences during science camp?

Here’s some of the things that kids learning at summer camp can pick up:

As I have mentioned in the past, anthropology is the study of human beings from the past up to the present. It does not stand alone, instead it is supported by other sciences such as biological sciences and social sciences. It is also helped by the physical sciences, and sometimes the humanities.



I like this particular branch of the human sciences because it teaches us to look back on our past as a species in order for us to find out more of our future. Many activities can be held about this topic–such as roleplaying and the like.

Another thing that they can be taught during summer camp is Demography, where the human population as well as statistics about humans is studied. This could be taught to them through trivia games or something of the like.


Children like trivia, and more often than not they will curiously ask questions if something piques their interest. When it comes to demography, it could be statistics about different, interesting facets of humans and populations–that way it will catch their interest and get them more curious about things.

Human Biology
And of course, one more thing that can be taught to children is human biology. Our origin as a species and how we have evolved into the humans we are now, how the human body works (aka anatomy and biology), and even how our genes make us who we are and determine how we look like. At first it may sound boring, but truth is with the right activities, it can turn into something fun for the children too!

Here’s a sample video of biology for kids:

Children at Play: Playground Psychology and Children’s Culture

Girl in The SwingI am sure that pretty much everyone here has read the 1954 dystopian novel “The Lord of the Flies”? Well, if not, then you probably know the gist of it: young boys end up stranded on a deserted island and end up trying to govern themselves, ultimately devolving into barbarism. It is an interesting exploration of human nature and child psychology.

Such grim notions aside, child psychology is a curious thing and oddly enough, similar behaviours appear on the playground, though not nearly as extreme as the version presented in “Lord of the Flies”.

William Golding’s Lord of the Flies Summary

Children learn many of their social skills using play ground equipment. The playground is unique because it allows children to socialise within a wide open field with minimal interactions with grown ups.

In fact, among my observations in the playground, I noticed that despite most children are left to their own devices despite having a guardian on the premises – parents, nannies, and nurses, will more often than not sit with a book or their phone, relaxing and allowing the children to play as much as they want. This gives rise to a unique phenomenon called children’s culture.

Understanding children’s culture
Girls SocialisingChildren have their own unique brand of culture that comes from having a large number of youngsters congregate without any adult to govern them. The playground is filled with children’s culture, and it has often been parodied on television shows and cartoons.

Children have their own way of socialising with each other and sharing stories and games. Language is part of this – children tend to develop their own kind of slang that is recognizable only by other children on the same playground.

Children are self-governing
Child ClimbingWhen children are left to their own devices, they naturally start forming a governing body of their own, just like in Lord of the Flies. Some children become “ring leaders” – they have gained the respect and attention of other children and come up with all of the games and activities that will be played by the group.

In fact, there are several rules that begin to manifest on the playground, both spoken and unspoken. For example, at the playground I was visiting, which was a unique DIY playground full of wooden planks and old mattresses, there is an unspoken rule that children should be brave and be willing to engage in risk taking behaviour – such as jumping off a scaffold and onto a mattress, in order to be accepted as part of the group.

Playground hierarchy and conformity
Playing GirlsEventually, children will form a kind of hierarchy – the most popular and well liked children will often be the standard that everyone else on the playground will strive for.

On the other hand, children who refuse to conform will often be shunned and bullied by his or her peers. Children have a very strong desire to conform and hope to be accepted by their peers, and those who are unable to satisfactorily conform become outcasts.

Effects of playground psychology on well-being
Swinging BoyDespite bullying and conformity, this does not mean that children on playground devolve into the events of Lord of the Flies. The truth is that children who were left to freely interact at a playground tend to become more well-adjusted and eventually end up becoming more empathetic towards others in the long run.

Children who had a lot of play time are more aware of their surroundings and tend to become more helpful to others in need. It only goes to show how important physical play on a playground is.

People Watching on the Street as a Sociological Experiment

Sociology is one of the many human sciences that I am very much interested in. It’s just great, studying the behaviour of people, as well as their development. It’s a great way to see how society has evolved, how our history has influenced us and how our day to day lives have been affected by the lives of those who have lived before us.

Sociology LogoI like observing people to see how society functions, how one individual fits into the whole. And one of the very best ways to learn sociology I believe is from society itself.

There are so many different cultures around the world that it is almost insanely impossible to study everyone’s sociology. Unless you dedicate the rest of your life to visiting every country in the world just to learn more about people who live there. And even then, you still might not be able to learn everything there is to know about people, who are always constantly evolving.

So if you want to learn a bit more about people but you don’t want to commit to studying sociology as a major in university just yet, then you can just make observations by people watching.

What is Sociology?

People Watching as a Sociological Experiment

People Walking OutsideRecently I decided that I would go and spend an entire day people watching. I chose a cafe on a busy street/corner, ordered coffee, and basically took up the same outdoor table for the entire day. I only took breaks to order food or more coffee, or to go to the bathroom. I even brought along with me a notepad and a pen to write down all the notes I made.

So basically… I observed what people were doing on the road. People in cars, people walking by. If you want to learn more about society and the way we function, you can do the same thing if you like!

Anyway…here are just some of the observations I made as I was conducting my little social experiment!

People Cross the Street Haphazardly

Pedestrian LaneAs I observed the people walking on the road, I realised that not everyone follows the traffic rules. The truth is that many even risk their lives just to cross the street when there are many pedestrian crosswalks available.

Some jaywalk just because they do not want to walk the small extra distance to the pedestrian crossing. I think that we really need pedestrian safety barriers in order to keep people in line…even if it is for their own safety!

People Are Always in a Hurry

Another thing I noticed is that almost everybody is in a hurry. It’s a shame that people always are, because they miss out on a lot of the beauty around us.

Acts of KindnessIf people just stop and watch for a while, they would notice so much of the beauty in the world. But it cannot be helped—the hustle and bustle of the world stresses everyone out.

People Can Be Kind

I have noticed that people have kindness in their hearts. From the way they talk to strangers to the way they help those in need. It’s something that gives me faith in humanity. I love seeing it in action.

What Can I Do with a Degree in Political Science (That Doesn’t Involve Government)?

political-sciences-PhDsSince this entire website is all about human sciences, I would like also to discuss specific sciences that fall under human sciences’ general umbrella. One of those sciences is Political Science.

Not a lot of people are interested by this particular science—and certainly not many people are enticed to study this field. But the truth is that it is a noble science that can take you to many other tracks apart from actually becoming a politician. Yes—political science doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to try to be in office!

So what exactly can you do with a degree in political science that doesn’t involve you running for a position in the government?

Apart from government agencies, there are many other agencies that employ political science graduates—international agencies, some law firms (following certain other qualifications), universities/colleges, media and the private sector just to name a few. Here are some of the tracks you can follow.






Add a little communication skills training at an advanced level and you will find yourself poised in the perfect position to become a journalist. You could become a PR agent (public relations), handling public relations for big clients whether they are politicians or celebrities.

With that kind of training you could also become a TV or Radio journalist—a news anchor or something of the sort. If this type of thing isn’t so much your style, you can always just become a print journalist.

You can be a writer, an editor, or a publisher—it just all depends on what you feel is a better fit for you. In general, a degree in the political sciences can allow you to become a member of the press, relaying information and breaking news to the general public—or handling the public dealings of someone who is in the public’s eye.



Political sciences could lead you to a track in law—to become a solicitor or a barrister. Of course this would mean you would have to get additional training and education, so this may not be the track for everyone.

For the law track, you will also find yourself greatly benefiting from some training in communication skills. You and your clients will be grateful for the skills!

Business/Financial Consultant

If you are interested in this particular track, you can become a consultant dealing with finances and business dealings. You can become perhaps a financial planner, a budget analyst, or perhaps even a market analyst. In the business world, these positions are in demand—which means you will be too.




Especially if you are particularly good at what you do and make a name for yourself doing it too.

So there you go… These are just some of the careers you can go into after you finish a degree in political sciences. There are so many other careers and jobs you can get with a political science degree—perhaps I’ll make another post for this another time.


Where can a degree in Political Science take you?

The Human-Canine Relationship

Heather Nicholson with DogOne of the branches of human sciences that fascinates me is anthrozoology, or the study of how humans form relationships with animals. It is a subcategory of interspecies relationships and how they factor into our lives as people.

I am especially interested in human-canine relationships. It is arguably the oldest mutual relationship in history, and we have even studied how to breed our dogs and how to keep them healthy. Years of scientific research has gone into caring for our pets – we study their diet, and try to weigh the benefits of dry dog food as opposed to wet.

In fact, you will see hundreds of researchers arguing over what the perfect diet for dogs would be. Dry dog food is good for the teeth, while wet dog food is good for hydration. The debate goes on and on!

What is Anthrozoology?

The question is: Why do we care so much? How is it that the dog and other animals are so important to us? Why is it that we spend so much time and money to get the right nutrition for our pets, even though we know that we will never eat a dog?

Currently there are three theories regarding the human-canine relationship and why we seek it out. About 43% of the world’s people have a pet dog after all.

The Biophilia Theory
Cockapoos and GirlThe first theory that we will touch upon is the biophilia theory. Basically, it is the theory that believes that we look to our animal companions for survival. This is actually true in some respects – for example, the tribes men in Congo who keep dogs use them primarily to hunt. A good number of them believe that they would ultimately starve and die if they ever lose their pets.

The big flaw in the biophilia theory is that many people are actually capable of surviving without dogs – they are no longer crucial to our survival, so what is it that makes them so special?

The Social Support Theory
The Social Support Theory on the other hand, tells us that we depend on dogs for emotional support. It believes that humans are incapable of surviving without non-human contact, as having a pet is crucial to our well-being. Animals are part of our community, and many see dogs as human too.

The Self-Object Theory
Elliot Aronson and DogThis theory maintains that dogs are a self-object. Self-objects are empathetic items that we like to see as part of ourselves. For parents, their children are typically their self-object – parents see themselves mirrored in their children.

Similarly, dogs are mirrors of us. Dogs also have a knack for reading us in the same way that children read an adult. In fact, dogs are so well adapted to reading a person’s moods and gestures that they even beat out chimpanzees. It is the reason why dogs seem to recognize their names right away and know that we want them to fetch the paper if we point.

The human-canine bond is a fascinating subject. Since we are the ones squabbling over the health benefits of wet or dry dog food, you would wonder who the real domesticated animal is in this relationship. What if its really dogs that tamed us? Chew on that little brain tickler.