GRE Reading Comprehension
The social sciences are less likely than other intellectual enterprises to get credit for their accomplishments. Arguably, this is so because the theories and conceptual constructs of the social sciences are especially accessible: human intelligence apprehends truths about human affairs with particular facility.
This underappreciation of the social sciences contrasts oddly with what many see as their overutilization. Game theory is pressed into service in studies of shifting international alliances. Evaluation research is called upon to demonstrate successes or failures of social programs. Yet this rush into practical applications is itself quite understandable: public policy must continually be made, and policymakers rightly feel that even tentative findings and untested theories are better guides to decision-making than no findings and no theories at all.
The author confronts the claim that the social sciences are being overutilized with
- A proof that overextensions of social science results are self-correcting
- B evidence that some public policy is made without any recourse to social science findings or theories
- C a long list of social science applications that are perfectly appropriate and extremely fruitful
- D the argument that overutilization is by and large the exception rather than the rule
- E the observation that this practice represents the lesser of two evils under existing circumstances
Correct Answer: E