Social science offers sophisticated methods for governments to better understand social media. Social scientists are using established research techniques to improve meaningful collection of social data via social media.
Research on robot assistants for aged care shows older adults have different preferences for robot faces. Older adults who focus on “care” and sensitive personal care say they would prefer a human-looking robot to assist them. They focus on the need to trust.
Governments see that social science methods are highly useful in drafting social policy and to improve workplace practices. We contribute by using a range of case studies and statistical analyses.
A survey by Jane Tinkler from the London School of Economics finds that 19% of USA policy makers use social science arguments daily in their work; a further 53% use social science a few times daily or at least monthly; and 21% said they use it at least once a year.
In a government or business context, social scientists use ethnography to study individuals and groups interacting in their everyday lives, with the purpose of improving policies and procedures. We do this through specialised case studies.
Social policy makers can benefit from ongoing applied research into the social behaviour of crowds. This is partly about planning, such as management of landscapes, improving infrastructure, decreasing traffic congestion and so on. This is also because local communities need to improve social service delivery.