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Difference Between Science and Social Science

Difference Between Science and Social Science


Science (in particular, physical or natural science) and social science are two types of science that share many things but are also different on many levels.

The main similarities between science and social sciences include the following:

  • Both sciences employ the same scientific model in order to gain information. Some branches of each science even employ both natural and social science components. Examples from the natural sciences include biology and ecology, while economics and psychology are examples from the social sciences.
  • Both have general laws that they apply in numerous applications
  • Both use empirical and measured data that is observable by the senses. Also, theories in both sciences can be tested to produce theoretical statements and general positions.

However, differences are also plentiful between the two types of sciences.

Science is often attributed as natural or physical science. As its name implies, this science is concerned with the study of nature—the physical and natural behaviours and phenomena without the social, cultural, or human context.

The basis of the natural sciences is the experimental data. Experimental data relies on repeated experiments, laboratory testing, and constant reproductions of results. The

methodology of natural or physical science is often characterized as fixed and straightforward, with the constant element of standard measurements. The methodology also employs experiments. Data from these experiments often represent predictability and rationality.

Physical and natural sciences work in a closed system, where variables can be controlled, and the work is executed within a particular framework or paradigm.

Difference Between Science and Social Science-1

Social Science

On the other hand, social sciences revolve around the behaviour of humans as a people or human societies, its production, and operations. This type of science is also very concerned with cultural and human contexts and tries to explain how the world works. Its main aim is to study the complex and changing phenomena that occur in human and social life and their interactions with one another.

The basis of social sciences is the experiential data. Experiential data tries to establish social phenomena and is not easily reproduced in a laboratory or in an experiment.

The social sciences’ methodology starts with an assumption and is gradually filled by a series of experiments and observation. The data collection methods are often done by a variety of techniques like field observation, interviews, and focus groups discussions.

The experiments and the data collected in social science studies denote spontaneity and deal with the emotions of the people involved.

Social sciences operate on an open system where uncontrollable variables are expected. It is also considered a cumulative science, which is characterized by a progression as the study goes on.


  1. Science (also known as pure, natural, or physical science) and social science are two types of science that deal with the same scientific model and the components of their own respective general laws.
  2. Science is more concerned in studying nature, while social science is concerned with human behaviour and societies.
  3. Pure science is characterized by control, exactness, rationality, controlled variables, and predictability, while social science is the opposite—it is spontaneous, with unpredictable or uncontrollable variables and it deals with human emotions and behaviors.
  4. The basis of natural science is experimental data, while social sciences rely on experiential data.
  5. The usual method of science (with respect to experimental data) is doing repetitive and conventional experiments in a laboratory, while social science, in lieu of experiential data, usually involves alternative methods of observation and interaction with people within a community.
  6. Natural or physical sciences work within a closed system, while social sciences work within an open system.

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