Social Research Glossary


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Citation reference: Harvey, L., 2012-20, Social Research Glossary, Quality Research International,

This is a dynamic glossary and the author would welcome any e-mail suggestions for additions or amendments. Page updated 19 December, 2019 , © Lee Harvey 2012–2020.


A fast-paced novel of conjecture and surprises



core definition

Empiricist is a person or a contention, theory or position that supports or is based on the theory that all knowledge is experiential and derived from the senses, see Empiricism

explanatory context


analytical review

Little (2011) states:

The core of the empiricist conception of science is a cluster of views concerned with the confirmation of scientific hypotheses and beliefs.  Empiricist philosophy of science demands that scientific assertions must be provided with appropriate empirical support.  And the purpose of empirical support is to enhance the likelihood that these assertions are true: that is, that the world is as the belief asserts.  Empiricists are confident that empirical standards serve to eliminate false hypotheses and to give us some basis of confidence in the truth of other hypotheses.  The core values of empiricist philosophy of science, then, are the centrality of empirical standards of belief assessment, the possibility of objectivity, and the possibility of scientific truth..

associated issues


related areas

See also



Little, D., 2011, 'Evidence and objectivity in the social sciences', in Understanding Society, available at, accessed 24 May 2017.

copyright Lee Harvey 2012–2020


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