Difference Between Sociology and Psychology

Sociology vs Psychology


The difference between Sociology and Psychology is that sociology is the study of human behavior in groups while psychology is the study of the individual human mind. To be more elaborative, Sociology deals with the study of the origin, development and functioning of human society. On the other hand, Psychology is the science that deals with mental behavior. It studies the way the brain functions. This is the main difference between Sociology and Psychology. Through this article let us examine the differences between the two fields of study.

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of the communities and the way they are influenced by sources from outside. Auguste Comte is considered as the father of Sociology. Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Durkheim are considered the holy trinity of sociology mainly due to their contribution to the growth of the discipline. The researcher in Sociology observes the people and then records their behavior. Sociologists analyze people by using surveys too.

Other than these, there is a wide range of methods and techniques that can be used for research purposes such as interviews, observation, case studies, experimental method, etc. Sociology establishes the relationship between the group and the individual. The individual acts according to the nature of the group he is in. Sociology is all about the effect of a group of people on an individual or another group for that matter. In Sociology, there are a large number of perspectives. These allow the sociologist to comprehend the society in different points of view. Some of these perspectives are the functionalist perspective, conflict perspective and symbolic interactionism.

Difference Between Sociology and Psychology

Auguste Comte

What is Psychology?

In simple words, one can say that Psychology is the study of the human mind. It includes the study of human emotions. However Sociology, on the other hand, is more concerned about the classification of human societies. Wilhelm Wundt is considered the father of psychology, mainly because he formed the first experimental laboratory in the world.  Psychology is experimental in its study whereas Sociology is observational in its study. A psychologist experiments in the laboratory to collect data. Psychology believes that everything about the person is caused by the individual in him. Psychology is a study of the workings of the human mind. It examines the reasons why people think and behave as they do. The need of the subject of Psychology is because people felt the necessity for an examination of the thoughts and actions of an individual.

Sociology vs Psychology

Wilhelm Wundt

What is the Difference Between Sociology and Psychology?

Definitions of Sociology and Psychology:

Sociology: Sociology is the study of communities

Psychology: Psychology is the study of the mental processes and human behavior.

Characteristics of Sociology and Psychology:


Sociology: In Sociology the focus is on the human society.

Psychology: In Psychology, the focus is on the mental processes and behavior of the individual.


Sociology: Sociology establishes the relationship between an individual and a group.

Psychology: Psychology examines the reasons why people think and behave as they do.

Field of study:

Sociology: The field for Sociology is the society.

Psychology: The field is mostly a laboratory.


Image Courtesy:

1. “Auguste Comte” [Public Domain] via Wikimedia Commons

2.”W. Wundt” – reprinted in Koenig E: W. Wundt, seine Philosophie und Psychologie (1901). [Public Domain] Wikimedia Commons