Questions Science and Education

What is the difference between natural science and social science?

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Prerna Das

Do not stop until you are proud

Natural Science and Social  Science have a vast difference between each other whether it is in terms of definition, or terms of principles or methods or its scopes. Here are the points which will best describe the differences between natural science and social science clearly.

1. Natural science entirely deals with the scientific study of the physical, chemical, biological and quantitative aspects of all the natural phenomena present around the world. The main branches of natural science are Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Maths, etc. But Social Science is different. This branch of science deals with all the aspects of society and human beings like their culture, lifestyle, thinking, and everything which influences the Society. The main branches of Social Science are Sociology, Psychology, Anthropology, Archaeology, Law, Linguistics, Social Work, etc.

2. The Scientific approach in the case of Natural Science is much more clear and definite compared to Social Science. The factual data, quantitative measurements, data analysis, and interpretations have specific methods and conclusions. Though Social Science conducts various studies and experiments; there is no fixed measurement or conclusion here. In other words, natural science is more quantitative and social science is qualitative by nature.

3. The experiments and observations conducted in natural science are related to the natural and physical phenomena of the environment. As a result, repeated experiments are required to be held from time to time. Even the inventions and discoveries from natural science go on increasing due to the constant progress of experiments. But as social science deals with the aspects of the societies and human nature, thus repeated analysis is not much required to be conducted. Research and surveys once conducted in social science continue to be useful data for an extended period. The scope of inventing or discovering new things are also not much possible in social science.

4. Natural Science is not at all based on assumptions or abstractions. The results or conclusions of natural science when it is published, have a strong base, practical effects and experimented methodologies free from any doubts. Social Science deals with certain phenomena that are sometimes abstract or cannot be measured easily. Many things are required to be assumed, and even the studies and researches conducted have a lack of factual data or common methodologies. 

5. As Natural Science is purely objective and based on practical experimentations, they are free of bias or personal prejudice. But, Social Science has many such places where there may be certain premises of biases and personal prejudices. The context of Social science is subjective rather than objective.

Read more: what is the difference between humanities and social science?


Poonam Choudhry

Exist on your own terms

Science has always been a fascinating subject for many. Whatever we have today, it’s all because of science. Starting from technology to health care, everything is based on sciences.

Speaking of science as a subject, it has two main branches. This includes natural science and social science. Both subjects are derived from science, but they are completely different from each other. Natural science and social science have clear differences between them. To define it in short, natural science is what deals with nature and social science is focussed on studying human society.

What are the main differences?

The main differences between natural science and social science can be understood from the following points.

  1. Natural science
    In simple terms, natural science is known to deal with the natural world. To put it differently, it is focussed on studying the objects and phenomena of the physical world and nature. It involves description, prediction, and comprehension of natural phenomena using observational and empirical evidence. Natural science can be further sub-divided into two branches; one is physical science, and the other is biological science.

  2. Social science
    On the other hand, social science is known to deal with human society. It focuses on studying the relationships among individuals. Social science is also known to have a large number of sub-fields, which include political science, geography, economics, history, sociology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and law. Thus, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that social science is a vast field to study. The study of social sciences began in the 18th century. It makes use of interpretive and critique methods.

Now that you know the difference between the two branches of science, it should be easier for you to pick the one that interests you more.

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