Psychology & Sociology

Psychology is the scientific study of human behavior and mental processes, with behavior being any action that can be observed or measured.

Sociology is the study of human society and social behavior, how people relate to one another and influence each other's behavior.

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Psychology and Sociology as a Science

Psychology is a science because it follows the empirical method. ... It is this emphasis on the empirically observable that made it necessary for psychology to change its definition from the study of the mind (because the mind itself could not be directly observed) to the science of behavior.

Sociology is a science every bit as much as biology or chemistry. Social sciences, like natural and biological sciences, use a vigorous methodology. This means that a social scientist clearly states the problems he or she is interested in and clearly spells out how he or she arrives at their conclusions.

Psychology and Sociology as a Social Studies

Social studies is a term used to describe the broad study of the various fields which involve past and current human behavior and interactions. Rather than focus in depth on any one topic, social studies provides a broad overview of human society past and present. Examples of subjects typically covered in social studies include: history, economics, geography, government, culture, psychology, sociology and other social science.

Sociology is the systematic and scientific study of society, including patterns of social relationships, social action, and culture. Areas studied in sociology can range from the analysis of brief contacts between anonymous individuals on the street to the study of global social processes. Numerous fields within the discipline concentrate on how and why people are organized in society, either as individuals or as members of associations, groups, and institutions. As an academic discipline, sociology is most often considered as a branch of social science.

In 1992, the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) adopted the following definition of “social studies”:

Social studies is the integrated study of the social sciences and humanities to promote civic competence. Within the school program, social studies provides coordinated, systematic study drawing upon such disciplines as anthropology, archaeology, economics, geography, history, law, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, and sociology, as well as appropriate content from the humanities, mathematics, and natural sciences. The primary purpose of social studies is to help young people develop the ability to make informed and reasoned decisions for the public good as citizens of a culturally diverse, democratic society in an interdependent world. (NCSS Task Force on Standards for Teaching and Learning in the Social Studies, 1993, p. 213)