Skip to Main Content
Accessibility Information

IDS 100 - Perspectives in Liberal Arts

Research guide developed for IDS-100 to help with the four lenses, an introduction to the library, and selecting research topics.

What are the Four Lenses?

You will be exploring this term and the four items that make up this approach throughout your course. A "lens" is a way to frame or think about the world around us. An easy way to visualize this would be to think about it in terms of colors. If you have ever used yellow lensed glasses for driving at night (helps reduce glare), it colors the way we actually see and experience the world. Imagine the lens of a telescope -- or a microscope -- helping an expert to view and study the world more closely.  Each lens has its own "color" that enhances that focus on particular things about the world. The four lenses being explored in this course are not as literal. They can be used as a learned perspective or way of interpreting how we think and experience things. 

In the discipline of the Liberal Arts, there are several areas of study that create this term. At SNHU, we use the following four arts as lenses, or ways of thinking: 

  • history

  • humanities

  • social sciences

  • natural sciences.

Watch the seven minute video below from the Academic Support Center, which does a great job explaining the lenses and prepares you to start thinking about different perspectives and ways of thinking.