At the outbreak of World War I , Weber, aged 50, volunteered for service and was appointed as a reserve officer and put in charge of organizing the army hospitals in Heidelberg, a role he fulfilled until the end of 1915.   Weber's views on the war and the expansion of the German empire changed during the course of the conflict.    Early on he supported the nationalist rhetoric and the war effort, though with some hesitation as he viewed the war as a necessity to fulfill German duty as a leading state power. In time, however, Weber became one of the most prominent critics of German expansionism and of the Kaiser 's war policies.  He publicly attacked the Belgian annexation policy and unrestricted submarine warfare and later supported calls for constitutional reform, democratisation and universal suffrage . 
Qualitative sociologists generally employ observational and analytic techniques that allow them to contextualize observed patterns in relation to existing hierarchies or assumptions within natural settings. Using an earlier example, qualitative sociologists examining the experience of gender and promotion may ascertain the existing beliefs about gender and about promotion by the people being studied, official documentation outlining the rules of promotion and / or policies concerning gender within the setting, and variations in the ways people occupying different racial, classed, gendered, sexual, religious, or aged social locations interpret and make sense of both gender and promotion. Since variables (such as social class) cannot be "held constant" or "controlled for" in natural settings, qualitative sociologists explore the potential influence of these factors on actual behaviors in order to refine existing mathematical and / or experimental theories containing assumptions and controls unavailable beyond the laboratory or mathematical software. Thus, while the true experiment is ideally suited for the performance of quantitative science, especially because it is the best quantitative method for deriving causal relationships , other methods of hypothesis testing are commonly employed in the social sciences, and qualitative methods of critique and analysis are utilized to fact check the assumptions and theories created upon the basis of "controlled" (rather than natural) circumstances.