Relationship Between Sociology And Psychology: Sociology and psychology are fields under social science. Being social sciences, they study the society and human behaviour in it. Of all the fields under social science, it seems that sociology and psychology are two fields that are most closely related. Both fields share some relationships in that their purposes although interdependent, are similar and at some point they share the same elements.
Their relationship can as well be described as being complementary to each other. In this article we shall clearly define the two fields and then discuss the relationship between them.
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Meaning of Sociology
Sociology is a field of social science that studies the society, human social interaction and the rules and processes that bind and separate people not only as individuals but as members of associations, groups and institution in a systematic manner. Simply put, sociology is the science of the society. Sociology also inversely studies the impact of social structures on human behaviour. The term sociology is gotten from the Latin word Socius meaning “fellowship or companion” and logy gotten from the Greek word Logos which means “word or knowledge”.
The field of sociology seeks to study and analyze human behaviour in relation to the society. Sociology is focused on identifying social problems, people’s response to them and the solution to the social problems. Just like every other social science, sociology employs the scientific method in attaining its purpose.
Sociology studies the effects of social phenomena on individuals and the society at large and seeks to understand the reason why people may respond to situations in a particular manner. The field of sociology is not oblivious of changes; hence it studies people’s attitude to change and tries to predict possible reactions through the observation and evaluation of evidence. Sociology studies the social interactions between individuals and groups as well as people’s adaptation and response to cultures and events.
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Also studied by sociology are the effects of human behaviour on the society at large. Also studied by sociology are the effects of human behaviour on the society at large. Sociology permeates through all realms of the society ranging from customs and traditions, religion, family, organizations, social class, gender, race, and so on. The findings of sociology are collective ones and as such cannot be reported in reference of an individual but in reference to the society. For instance, the report of political participation, marriages suicide rates, divorce rates, etc. For sociology, it is the members of the society that is the subject of sociological experiments.
Meaning of Psychology
Psychology is the systematic study of the human mind; perception, mechanism, personality and the human behaviour generally. It is the study of the mental, emotional and behaviourial characteristics pertaining to a specified person, group or activity. Psychology studies human thoughts, feelings, conscious, subconscious and unconscious happenings in the mind of an individual.
The areas in psychology include; behaviourial neuroscience, clinical psychology, decision science, cognitive psychology, development psychology, intellectual and developmental disabilities, quantitative psychology, social psychology, and so on. The field of psychology targets its study particularly on individuals and their mental processes, although under social psychology, it does not extend its research on the relation of individuals with the society.
The Relationship Between Sociology And Psychology
Sociology and psychology are closely related in their concept, study and of course in their methods. The number one basis of their relationship is that both are social sciences; hence they study human behaviour as it may have effect on the society. A salient distinction between both fields is that while psychology subjects its research to individuals particularly and on their mental processes, sociology studies all reams of the society as it may affect the individual and the society at large.
Here, it would then be difficult to draw a line severing the two concepts completely. This is because the impact of the field of psychology on persons by implication affects the society at large, since the society is made up of several counts of individuals. It follows therefore that the impact of psychology contributes to people’s social interaction with one another and their responses to social phenomena.
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On the other hand, sociology also relates with psychology. Social phenomena also have the capacity to influence one’s mental process; mental process being a subject of psychology. Thus, sociology in its study of the society does not neglect to study events as they may affect individuals both subjectively and objectively. So, inasmuch as psychology has its interest on the individual, his mental process and exhibited behavourial pattern, and sociology deals with the society and large, it is still a number count of individuals that make up the society.
Sociology also is not precluded from studying an individual subjectively and particularly. Thus, the subjective study of individual is not a feature exclusive to the field of psychology alone; sociology does employ same as well. In fact, sociology is not oblivious of the fact that there exist something known as individual differences. Thus, sociology puts into consideration in its research the possible subjective response of people to situations subject to their personal beliefs, experiences, mental state, upbringing and so many other factors. It has been in fact established that both sociology and psychology aids each other in attaining their full purpose. Thus, they cannot be completely severed; hence the recognition of a sub-field known as social psychology.
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The human behaviour as is being studied by psychology cannot have meaning on its own until it is unleashed in relation to the society. It is through human psychology that the activities of human beings are understood, and such understanding of those human activities cannot be explained or made intelligible if they were no such thing as human relation and social phenomena. Psychology cannot study, analyze or provide solutions to its findings if societal factors are not taken into consideration; and that it if there would be any meaningful findings at all. In fact, the study of sociology may not have been possible at least to its full effect if the psychology of human behaviour was not known.
Again, psychology validates the fact that sociological factors can have direct impact on the human psychology. Furthermore, the findings of psychology and sociology and sociology help in the development of both psychology and sociology. For instance, the theories of motivation and perception as established by psychology can help the field of sociology in furtherance of its research. Another relationship borne by sociology and psychology is that social problems can have psychological effects. Problems such as crises, crimes, drug addiction, case, gambling, and so on, all have psychological effects. They are social problems, they affect the society at large and can induce certain human behaviours and responses to the society at large, and they also affect the individual’s psychology particularly.
In all, a group consciousness and behaviour is formed when the psychologies of the individuals interact and react.
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Psychology and sociology are two different disciplines under the umbrella of social science. In studying psychology, one would see that sociological courses must be studied as well and vice versa for those studying sociology. This explains the degree of relationship being shared by the two fields. Regardless of their overlapping relationship, the line of their differences is still a clear one; while psychology relates particularly to individual, sociology relates to the society.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka ACMC, is a Law Student and a Certified Mediator/Conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a Developer with knowledge in HTML, CSS, JS, PHP and React Native. Samuel is bent on changing the legal profession by building Web and Mobile Apps that will make legal research a lot easier.