Social Science Vs Natural Science: A Guide - The Freeman Online (2022)

Science is a popular field best described as the body of knowledge that involves fair-minded perceptions and orderly experimentation. It seeks to understand the world using a systematic approach. There are several branches of science. However, social science and natural science exists as two branches of science that we will examine in this article.

A look at Social Science vs. Natural Science

In taking a look at social science vs. natural science as separate branches of science, we will realize that they are similar in some ways and yet different in other ways. We must examine these fields of study critically. To get a better understanding, we shall take a look at their definitions, origins, the scope of the study, methods, etc. These branches of science exist to help us classify various scientific works under them.

So that’s it about science and natural science. However, if you seek better understanding, you can continue reading for more information.

Social Science

Social is one of the branches of science. It deals with humans and how they interact with each other in society. Its core focus is on society as a whole and the interactions of individuals therein. It borders on virtually all aspects of human existence.

The origin of Social science

The origin of the social sciences is traceable to the 19th century. Some of the ideologies that form the body of knowledge that we call Social Science existed before the 19th century; however, social science was more intentional. It became a recognized field of study in the 19th century.

In this era, people began to be more interested in the relationships that exist between individuals in the state, the institutions, and how these elements interplayed. From this point, social sciences began to develop as a field of study over the centuries.

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The Scope of Social Science

Social Science is a body of knowledge that is very broad. It is vast because it encapsulates the various fields of study. All these fields of study that make up the social sciences concern themselves with the study of human interactions.

Sub-branches of Social Science

As earlier mention, social science covers several other disciplines or fields of study. Each of the sub-branches focuses on specific areas of human existence within society. There appear to be a form of controversy about the exact number of social sciences that we have. However, we shall be looking at them below.

The sub-branches of social science include Political Science, which deals with the political affairs of the government. We have Psychology which deals with how humans think and exercise their minds. Anthropology deals with the origin of humans and how their culture is evolving. Sociology deals with the cultural and social belief systems of humans. The law deals with the regulatory framework for human behaviors and activities.

Other sub-branches are archaeology that deals with the study of objects used by early humans, geography that studies the components of the earth which is the habitat of man, economics which deals with the means of production of wealth and its distribution,

The Method of Social Science

Social science employs a variety of methods in its study. It usually starts with questioning a phenomenon. This inquiry comes out of a place of curiosity for the subject matter. Thus, it develops questions which the research study should answer at the end of it.

After drawing up questions from the field of inquiry, social scientists will come up with a hypothesis on possible answers to the question that they have raised. This reasonable question flows from other results that they arrived at in previous researches.

After drawing up a hypothesis, they proceed to gather enough information that will help them test the hypothesis. Social scientists also examine and compare the information collected using the method of experimentation

It is the from the results arrived at while experimenting that they can draw their conclusions and answer the questions that they had sought to answer when they initially embarked on the research.

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Social science adopts the method of experimentation in arriving at answers to research questions. This experimentation is concerning the information it gathers through surveys, interviews, and case studies, etc.

Social science does not always use scientific methods at all times. It also resorts to non-scientific methods in arriving at its conclusions.

Natural Science

Put simply, the word “natural science” describes is a branch of science that concerns itself with the study of the physical world, the world in which we live. It tries to understand the natural phenomena of the world.

The origin of Natural Science

The origin of the natural world is traceable to the renaissance age. It started with the renaissance thinkers who were interested in how the world functioned. Some persons are of the view that the study about the physical world goes back to a period before society became aware of the inquiry into the body of knowledge.

Before this time, people had to survive and had to learn about how the world they lived in operates. They began to observe the natural phenomena in their environment. They studied plants, animals, and herbs, which were useful to them when they fell ill.

Over time, the body of knowledge that we refer to as natural science continues to evolve. It is the development and evolvement of this field of study that makes up what we have in the present times as natural science.

The Scope of Natural Science

Natural science, as a branch of science, covers a wide range of subjects that relates to the natural world. It studies natural events, seeks to understand them, and reaches conclusions from its study.

Sub-branches of Natural Science

The natural science also has several sub-branches that spans over the study of natural events and elements. Its main categories are physical science and life science. It is these two main categories that cover the other sub-branches that constitute natural science.

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Physical science focuses on the physical world in which we live, while life science deals with biological elements. Astronomy, physics, chemistry, geology, and biology are all under the natural sciences.

Astronomy deals with the study of the planets, stars, and other celestial bodies. Biology studies living things, while chemistry studies what makes up certain substances. Physics studies space, matter, time, energy, and how they interact with one another.

Astronomers study planets and cosmic bodies with the help of mathematical calculations and, of course, with the help of the most powerful telescopes. But each of us can get carried away with stargazing with an expensive or cheap home telescope, or even without it. Biologists study nature in many ways, some of which are observing animals or examining microorganisms under a microscope. If you want to immerse yourself in biology, you can do it by studying the structure of microorganisms under a home microscope. Physicists spend most of their time calculating certain physical experiments, but if you want to start learning physics, then you can do it at home without any special equipment.

The Method of Natural Science

The method that natural science employs is quite mathematical. It also bases its research on observation and experimentation. Sometimes, it also uses peer review to ensure that the conclusion it is reaching at the end of the research is a valid one.

Similarities Between Social Science And Natural Science

Social science and natural science might be distinct bodies of knowledge. However, they have certain features in common. One such similarity lies in the fact that they both adopt the use of observations in their research.

Also, both social science and natural science have laws that are generally applicable. Not just that, these laws also boasts of some exceptions to its application.

They also adopt the use of empirical research in their research work. It is a research method that measures data using mathematical and scientific precision.

Differences Between Social Science And Natural Science

Just as there are similarities between social science and natural science, in the same manner, there are also differences between them. However, it seems that the differences between them are more than the similarities that they share.

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One of the significant differences between social science and natural science lies in their area of focus. The social science focuses on the interactions of humans and society. Natural science, on the other hand, focuses on the physical world.

Another difference between both branches of law is that natural science operates in a closed system. The variables which they use for their research work are restrictive, and one can easily predict the outcome of the work. Social science, on the other hand, operates in a liberal or an open system. You cannot predict its outcome because one cannot control or foretell how the variables will turn out in the course of the research work.

There have been interests in the interactions between humans in society before when social science became a distinct body of knowledge. Thus, we should note that the origin of social science is traceable to a time in history, which is earlier than the natural sciences. As a result, we can say that one of the differences between both branches of science lies in their origin, with the social science preceding natural science.

Natural science works more with experimental data, which is the data gathered from the process of experimentation. Social science, on the other hand, works more with experiential data, which is data obtained from real-life experiences like interviews, surveys, etc.


In taking a look at social science vs. natural science, we have come to understand that both branches of science are essential to the proper functioning of society and the world we live in. It is because of their contributions to the body of knowledge that helps us understand ourselves better. Not just ourselves, but also the world in which we live. Over the centuries, they have succeeded in making us understand how science works.

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What is the difference between the social sciences and natural science? ›

Science can be classified into two main branches known as natural science and social science. Natural science is a branch of science that deals with the natural world whereas social science is a branch of science that deals with human society and social relationships.

What does social science and natural science have in common? ›

The main similarities between science and social sciences include the following: Both sciences employ the same scientific model in order to obtain information. Some branches of each science even employ both natural and social science components.

What is the difference of social science natural science and humanities in terms of function? ›

Social Science refers to a realistic course of study that is concerned with the different aspects of the life of an individual within the group or society. Humanities refer to the branch of learning, which covers fields like arts, classics, philosophy, history, anthropology, etc. Distinctive elements of human culture.

What is the thesis statement in the natural and social science? ›

For social sciences, a thesis statement is commonly a claim explaining the answer to your research question. For natural sciences, a thesis statement is commonly the research question presented as a statement.

What is social science in your own words? ›

Social science is, in its broadest sense, the study of society and the manner in which people behave and influence the world around us.

What is the examples of social science? ›

Social science refers to the study of human society and relationships. Five examples of social sciences are: economics, psychology, anthropology, archaeology, and history.

What is difference between science and social science? ›

Science vs Social Sciences

Simply science includes natural science, pure and physical science. Social sciences, on the other hand, include a number of disciplines such as sociology, political science, geography, demography, economics, etc.

What is the importance of studying social science natural science and humanities? ›

Through studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students will develop the ability to question, think critically, solve problems, communicate effectively, make decisions and adapt to change.

What do you think is the relationship between social science and humanity? ›

Conclusions. Both Humanities and Social Science study human beings, our cultures, and societies. However, Humanities have a subjective, critical-thinking or opinion-based approach. Social Science has an objective approach based on research and scientific evidence.

What is the relationship between social science and humanity? ›

Since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. So, the difference between social science and humanities are social science focus on aspects of human society and humanities focus on the product of human society.

What is the thesis statement Why is it important to identify the thesis statement of a lesson? ›

The thesis statement sets the reader up for the rest of the essay. Usually at the end of the introduction paragraph, the thesis leads into the body paragraph, which provides evidence and ideas to back up the thesis. The thesis statement is important because it tells the audience what they will be reading about.

How do you answer a research question in thesis? ›

Overview. In an argument-based research project, the answer to your research question becomes your thesis, or central purpose for the essay. Your thesis should be reasonable, directed toward a specific audience, and be arguable—with a clear argument and clear counter-argument.

How do natural science and social science differ from each other with regard to methods of investigation? ›

The main, very important, difference for the social and natural sciences in respect to research style B is that the social sciences study people, including their relationships with technology and the environment, whereas the natural sciences study predominantly study objects, plants and animals (but also physical ...

What is the importance of social science in our life? ›

Social science helps us understand ourselves, our relationships to others, and our relationships to the world. The insights that we provide change people's lives every day. For example, a wide range of public and private sector organizations are using our insights to take on a broad array of very big problems.

Why is social science important? ›

Thus, social sciences help people understand how to interact with the social world—how to influence policy, develop networks, increase government accountability, and promote democracy. These challenges, for many people around the world, are immediate, and their resolution can make a vast difference in people's lives.

What's another name for social science? ›

In this page you can discover 14 synonyms, antonyms, idiomatic expressions, and related words for social-science, like: history, economics, social-studies, psychology, study of people and social phenomena, sociology, science, geography, journalism, political-science and archaeology.

What is the example of natural science? ›

An example of natural science is physics. A science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws of nature and the physical world. A science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws of nature and the physical world.

What are the 5 main social sciences? ›

social science, any branch of academic study or science that deals with human behaviour in its social and cultural aspects. Usually included within the social sciences are cultural (or social) anthropology, sociology, psychology, political science, and economics.

What is the most important social science? ›

Education. Education is one of the most important social sciences, exploring how people learn and develop.

Is a social science while is a natural science? ›

Social science differs from natural science in that it examines the human, constructed world rather than the physical world. Fields like biology, chemistry, and physics use the scientific method to propose hypotheses and theories.

What are the similarities and differences of social science and social studies? ›

The core difference between social science and social studies exist in their purpose; in social science, you study the society and social life of human groups while in social studies, you study both social science and humanities in order to promote effective citizenry.

Which is more important science or social studies? ›

First, social studies education is more important than ever before. And it is not less important than math and science.

Why do we study social science Short answer? ›

Why is social science important? The social sciences are important because they help people understand how to analyze not only their own behavior but also the behavior and motivations of their peers. The social sciences also give us a better understanding of how to create more inclusive and effective institutions.

Why is knowledge in the natural sciences more important? ›

Fascinating scientific discoveries have helped us understand human nature better, grasp how our planet has evolved and even conceive what the universe may look like. The natural sciences give us so much knowledge that they almost seem to overshadow all other areas of knowledge.

What is the value of studying humanities as a student and as a member of the community cultural group? ›

The humanities help us understand others through their languages, histories and cultures. They foster social justice and equality. And they reveal how people have tried to make moral, spiritual and intellectual sense of the world. The humanities teach empathy.

Why does a person need to study humanities even though his interest falls in natural and social sciences? ›

“Studying the humanities helps us to better understand who we are, our identity as a people, a society and a culture, and how to organise our societies so we can achieve our goals.

What is the relationship between social science and science? ›

The relationship is reciprocal. They feed into each other and feed from each other. Social sciences explain human behaviour as individual and collective, in historical or real time. The other/natural sciences and applied sciences need this in their own work.

What are the difference between social science and social studies? ›

The core difference between social science and social studies exist in their purpose; in social science, you study the society and social life of human groups while in social studies, you study both social science and humanities in order to promote effective citizenry.

What is natural science and examples? ›

Natural science is knowledge based on the laws of nature and the physical world. An example of natural science is physics. noun. 5. A science, such as biology, chemistry, or physics, that deals with the objects, phenomena, or laws of nature and the physical world.

What is the difference between social sciences and humanities? ›

The social sciences focuses on subjects like economics, psychology, and history, while the humanities explore philosophy, languages and literature, and the arts. Students following this pathway develop strong communication and critical thinking skills, as well as an understanding of cultural differences.


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