Is Psychology a Social Science?

By Yılmaz Özakpınar.

Published by The Humanities Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This presentation explicates the rationale for the claim that, contrary to the general opinion, psychology is not a social science. Sociology, the typical social science to represent all the others, starts from observing human behavior in the context of human relationships and abstracts from the samples of such behaviors the social rules governing those relationships which do not belong to any concrete individual. Psychology starts from the base of individual behaviors performed in response to physical and social stimuli and by using certain procedures of investigation and the logic of experimental reasoning tries to discover the rules governing the workings of the mind. The mind belongs to an individual biological organism and it is the instrument of social perception and social action as well as the instrument of perception of and behavioral responses to the physical environment. If that is so, then even social psychology is a branch of general psychology in virtue of its studying how an individual mental mechanism perceives and processes social stimuli and decides what kind of actions to take and what sort of attitudes to hold. It is concluded that although humans are social beings, psychology is not a social science; in fact, it belongs to the realm of biological sciences because behavior is a means of adaptation of an individual to the physical and social environment.

Keywords: Psychology, Social Sciences, Rules of Social Institutions, Rules for the Operations of the Mental Mechanism

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 8, Issue 1, pp.327-336. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 599.701KB).

Dr. Yılmaz Özakpınar

Professor, Psychology Department, Arel University, İstanbul, Turkey

I am a graduate of Cambridge University. I got my Ph.D. from Istanbul University and worked there as Professor of Psychology between 1978-2001. I was awarded an Alexander von Humboldt scholarship and did research at the University of Cologne, Forschungsinstitut für Soziologie for two years and at the University of Bern, Abteilung der pedagogischen Psychologie for three months. I was a visiting Fulbright professor at the University of Oregon for six months. My interest in psychology lies, primarily, in the area of learning, memory and thinking, and secondarily, in the problems of cultural change. Presently, I work on the psychological processes of decision-making and choice, and the theory of voluntary behavior.


There are currently no reviews of this product.

Write a Review