Differences between Social Psychology and Sociology

Social Psychology vs Sociology – Differences

Society-related education plays a vital role in shaping people as socially responsible individuals. Understanding how a society behaves as a large entity, what affects its behaviors and patterns, how cultures and religions contribute are some of the aspects that both social psychology and sociology pay attention to. There are many similarities between social psychology and sociology. On the one hand, these two areas focus on building a better society, but the two approaches can be quite different.

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What is Social Psychology?

Social psychology is a branch of psychology that is focused on society. According to psychologist Gordon Allport, it is “a discipline that uses scientific methods to understand and explain how the thinking, feeling and behavior of individuals are influenced by the real, imagined, or implicit presence of other human beings” (1985). Social psychology is composed of studies in areas such as social perception, group behavior, aggression, prejudice, conformity, leadership etc. Basic social psychology goes back to Plato’s time, where he refers to it as the “mind of the crowd”. But the real interest in social psychology started after World War II. Social psychology can be scientific and experimental. Social psychologists look at situational variables and try to explain social behaviors.

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  • Stanley Milgram’s controversial obedience experiment

What is Sociology?

Sociology is comparatively a broader subject. Sociology is the study of human relationships and institutions. It is broad and diverse and focuses on almost all aspects that affect society. Objects of sociology studies such as religions, cultures, races, social classes, economic states, caste systems, etc. have an impact on how society works. The sociologist studies changes in society, and even the smallest ones can have interesting reasons behind them.

Sociology covers almost everything that a man experiences in his lifetime. From romantic love, racial and gender identity, family conflict, deviant behavior, aging, and religious faith to issues such as crime and the law, poverty and wealth, prejudice and discrimination, schools and education, businesses and businesses, the urban community and global issues such as war and peace; nothing can escape sociology. Experiments or research methods in sociology vary in relation to social psychology. Sociologists collect data for longer periods, carry out large-scale research, carry out census and use statistics and other tools to interpret information already available as historical data.

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What is the difference between Social Psychology and Sociology?

  • Social psychology is a narrower field of study when compared to sociology, which is a broader and more diverse area.
  • The approaches and methods that the two fields use are different.
  • Social psychology often uses situational variables and scientific methods to study, while sociology uses statistics, population observations, censuses and other methods.


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