The Difference between Sociology and Psychology

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Have you ever wondered what the difference between sociology and psychology is? That is a good question, and on the surface the two subjects seem to be very similar. In a lot of ways they are similar in what exactly they are studying, but how the two are studied are what the difference really is. Below I will take some time to examine the difference between the two studies, and try to help you determine how the two are actually different.

Sociology is the study of human societies, and the word social sort of helps you figure out what is being studied when you are talking about sociology. Basically the study is trying to figure out how people act, but more importantly scientists are more worried about how people act within the basis of a society. People might think one way when alone, but how do they think and act when they are with people? That is what sociology wants to study.

Psychology is the study of the thoughts and actions of the individual. Why do people think the way that they do? Basically the study is more focused on the inner workings of the person, and while societal interaction might come into play at times, it is more important to figure out why the person might tick, as opposed to how the interaction with other people makes them act differently as opposed to when they are alone.

A good example of sociology would be trying to study the role of the person within a group setting. For example, say you are a player on a team, the scientist would study what is making you act the way you do. Why is it about your relationship with your coach that keeps you from yelling at him when you get benched, or what is it about your relationship with the other players that makes you care about how they do? Why are these interactions important?

A good example of psychology is taking that same setting, but just getting inside your own head. You might have a good relationship with your coach, but what is the reasoning inside your own head. What is going on inside your own brain that is telling you that this is an important relationship. Sure, we are conditioned to realize certain things, but what is inside your brain to make that connection click. Basically the physical goings on in your brain are the main focus of psychology.

In some ways both areas of science are trying to get at the same thing, just from a different perspective. One group wants to see things from a societal view, while the other wants to see what you are thinking from a physical perspective. One group is thinking from a group standpoint, while the other wants to see things from an individual point of view. Hopefully this helps give you a basic understanding of the two branches of science.

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