Difference between psychology and sociology

Psychology is the study of the human brain and its functions. Sociology is the study of society. There are several striking differences between psychology and sociology. First, psychology deals with an individual, studying the mind of one person at a time while sociology analyzes society. It studies how people coexist with each other and expose societal problems such as crimes, hunger, and terrorism.

Although both psychology and sociology aim at improving the well-being of people. Psychology analyzes how mental processes affect emotions, while sociology assesses interactions between members of society. In psychology, the individual is entirely responsible for all the activities while sociology perceives that the environment affects how an individual behaves.  Also, in sociology, data is collected mostly through observation while psychology involves an experimental process to gather information.

Students who pursue studies in psychology end up to become mental health counselors, health educators, and human factors specialists while students taking sociology courses graduate to become policy analysts and consultants for social services. Psychology looks at one specific mental process at a time such as anger, happiness, and grief. Sociology analyzes how factors such as religion, ethnicity, and history affect the entire behavior, structure, and culture of a society.


Adorno, Theodor. “Sociology and psychology II.” New Left Review 47 (1968): 79-97.

Thoits, Peggy A. “Social psychology: The interplay between sociology and psychology.” Social Forces 73.4 (1995): 1231-1243.

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