Perception on matters that involves in our quality world, differ from other’s perception. As one of the issues that may involve educators, students, or individuals about Is Psychology a Social Science?
Definition of terms is important to fully comprehend the argument. As the Harvard University defines, “social sciences engages broadly with the study of human society and social relationships”, while the Economic and Social Research Council defines, “social science is, in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us”. In essence, social science helps us understand how our society works; it can give us the glimpse of the world that we do not know or away from our consciousness that exists. Some examples of these are the causes of population growth, same as the economic growth, also an explanation on politics-related issues, and so many more.
Moreover, Psychology is broadly defined as study of mind and behavior. The American Psychology Association defines it as “the discipline embraces all aspects of the human experience — from the functions of the brain to the actions of nations, from child development to care for the aged. In every conceivable setting from scientific research centers to mental healthcare services, “the understanding of behavior” is the enterprise of psychologists.
Now, the issue involving Psychology, as it is questioned as if it is a social science. The argument is that Psychology deals with the mind and behavior, as an individual is formed and shaped by the society, or the persons around him/her can affect him/her mainly. We tend to behave and act according to how and what a situation requires, also considering the people around us that will notice our reaction and works. Thus our behavior is shaped by the fact that we consider our audience in our every act.
During our childhood, the fundamental lessons that we learned from our classmates, teachers, aunties, uncles, grandparents, sisters, brothers, and everyone we have bumped into, we bring that until up today. Unconsciously, the manifestations of those lessons are shown in our actions.
Furthermore, when we visit a province, we also tend to adopt their diction, also some of their behaviors, even when we spend too much time with a friend who is from other state with different accent; sometimes we tend to copy that.
These are some of the many situations that prove society is a big role or part in our behavior. Thus, Psychology is a social science. Also, in some of the universities, Psychology is under the social science department.
However, in every claim or thesis, there is a anti-thesis. Same with this issue, there are some who asserts that psychology is not a social science. As Dr. Yılmaz Özakpınar, a professor of psychology in Arel University, Istanbul, Turkey, claims that psychology is part of biological science because “behavior is a means of adaptation of an individual to the physical and social environment”. Thus, his statement is suggesting that our behavior, even subjected to the stimuli of the society or of our environment, still it belongs in our biological state. Wherein, his claims are also to be considered. In William Glasser’s choice theory, suggests that we are capable of choosing our decisions and acts, whatever we do it is the result of our own part taking. Either we allow things to affect us or not, it is us who decide and weigh things. This theory may be a support on Dr. Özakpınar’s argument that indeed psychology is a behavioral science and not a social science.