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The differences and similarities between Psychology and Sociology

Audrey Strickhouser, Writer

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Students will begin their research for courses to take in the 2017-18 school year. A problem that may occur is deciphering the difference between the two social studies electives, Psychology and Sociology.

“The two classes are similar in nature,” Sociology teacher Michelle Belson said. “But where psychology focuses on the individual human, specifically mind, body and behavior, sociology focuses on society and how people interact in society.”

Psychology teacher Jill Starr said that no matter what career students are going into, they should take the class because knowing how to interact with people is important in any job.

“Students are allowed to take Psychology either their junior or senior year,” Starr said. “I recommend that they take it their senior year. This is because students are usually required to take one a basic intro psych class in college. I’ve had a lot of students come back to me and say that because they took Psychology their senior year, everything was fresh in their minds, which made the college course easier for them.”

Both teachers agree that taking psychology and sociology in high school is beneficial. Belson stressed that there are main points of discussion in sociology that set this elective apart from others.

“These topics can be noted as what is sociology and the methods social scientists use to gather information,” Belson said. “Culture, social structure and groups, socialization, crime and deviance, social stratification and class, inequalities in society and societal change.”

Many students that take one of the social science classes plan to take one the year after.

“This year I took the class psychology,” junior Julia Acton said. “I absolutely love the class and can’t wait to take sociology next year. I know that they are similar in certain ways and different in others. Taking these classes help to educate me in areas of study that I am not familiar with.”

Both teachers agree that students can learn many new things that they haven’t been exposed to before in these social science classes and they will enjoy them as well.


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