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In academic circles, often there are two types of sciences, classified as “hard” sciences and “soft” sciences. The “hard” sciences include biology, physics, and chemistry, which are subjects that involve the natural world. On the other hand, the so-called “soft” sciences are those belonging to social science, such as psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, and many others. The social sciences involve studying human behavior both individually and in groups.
In psychology, for instance, it is the study of the human mind and how it affects a person’s behavior. The arena of psychology covers many topics, like decision-making, learning, coping mechanisms, and many others. Psychology also explores the higher functions of the human mind, termed cognition. This involves how humans process language, emotions, and other information from all around them.
The “social” in social science deals with, well, society. That is, people arranged in groups functioning as one unit, like communities, cities, and nations. There are many branches of social science that deal with this, such as sociology, political science, and anthropology. Human behaviors change a lot when they are in groups, and these social sciences explore that side of humanity.
One of the things examined in social sciences is different cultures of different people. Humans create culture, and depending on where they are and who they are with, cultures are varied in different parts of the world. These cultures shape people’s lives and become the basis for social norms and certain patterns of behavior.
Some people argue that social sciences are not as useful as the hard sciences. This is simply not true, as the findings of social scientists can help shape modern society into a better one. They influence policymaking, for instance, allowing politicians to make more informed decisions regarding laws. Laws affect society, so the laws that are crafted must address the issues a society faces.