Innovations in social science methodologies: an overview

Daniel Druckman*, William Donohue

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we discuss the historical development of various methodological approaches used by social scientists. The well-known divide between the positivist and constructivist traditions is alive and well in the variety of recent methodologies including those discussed in these issues. More recent developments include nonlinear approaches intended to deal with the complexity of the world as it presents itself. The advent of new technologies has expanded the reach of quantitative methods while also increasing the efficiency of data collections and analyses performed by qualitative researchers. Another trend is toward making research findings more relevant to the communities being researched. Innovation is the key theme of each article that is summarized in this essay. The developments captured by the authors presage a brave new world of continuing innovation in social science methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-18
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Behavioral Scientist
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020


  • constructivism
  • fieldwork
  • innovations
  • mediation and moderation
  • nonlinear approaches
  • positivism
  • research methodologies


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