Following Kuhn's definition for a scientific paradigm, I'm focusing on:
1) social phenomena
2) that we can predict with enough accuracy to be useful
3) using technical skills that require special training.
I've found surprisingly few examples that satisfy all of these criteria. Only three, in fact.
- Aptitude testing
Prediction: How well will a person perform in school, a given job, the Army, etc.?
Technical skill: Psychometrics
Prediction: What effect will various market interventions have on the price, quantity supplied, etc. for a specific good?
Technical skill: Producer, consumer, and game theory
- Election polling
Prediction: Who will win in a given election?
Technical skills: Survey design, sampling theory
What areas *should* we be able to predict? We have all kinds of new tools as social scientists. It seems like we should be ready to tackle some new challenges.