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Hard sciences are characterized as relying on experimental, empirical, quantifiable data, relying on the scientific method, and focusing on accuracy and objectivity. Chemistry, physics, and Psychology are examples of hard sciences

Soft sciences are less quantifiable and considered more subjective. The "Social Sciences" such as history and political science are obvious examples.

Sociology would be considered a soft science. However, psychiatry and neural science would be considered hard sciences.

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โˆ™ 2011-06-08 20:38:56
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Q: What is the difference between hard science and soft science and where does psychology fit?
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Related questions

Give the main division of science?

Main division would be between the "hard" sciences such as physics or biology and the "softer" sciences, sometimes called the social sciences such as economics or psychology.

Why is psychology considered as an art and science?

I believe it is called a soft science, which is different from the hard sciences; physics, geology, biology, etc.

Why criminology is not a science?

Actually, it is a science. However, when most people think of science, they think of the "hard" sciences; such as physics, biology or chemistry. Criminology is referred to as a "soft" science, similar to psychology, sociology, anthropology or political science.

What is the difference between hard science and soft science?

Hard science is difficult to solve and needs more time to dedicate to it to solve, in the other hand soft science is easier and needs less time to dedicate to it. Hard science uses mathematics to quantify the physical world, and to make predictions based on mathematics. Soft sciences rely almost exclusively on observations without much in the way of mathematics to back up their "facts."

Is psychology called as social science?

Yes! Psychology is the study of human thought and behavior. The social sciences are studies related to behavior, interactions and surroundings like past history, civic life, decision making and geography. Psychiatry is more based in physical or medical science as it examines both the human mind and behavior in connection with the physiology of the brain. However, psychiatry is often considered the weakest of the medically-based hard sciences due to it's focus on the mind and psychology (social science) in connection with the brain and body (medical/physical/hard science).

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Is criminology is a science or not?

Criminology is a wide field which encompasses MANY different and varied career fields and disciplines. While it cannot be described as a "hard" science such as mathermatics or chemistry, it certainly qualifies as a a"soft" science similar to psychiatry or psychology.

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What is the relationship of political science with other branches of science?

Very limited, political science is a social science just like economics and there is some overlap with components of psychology as well. You may find more overlap with philosophy but I would find it hard pressed to define that as science.

What is the difference between soft hard candy?

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What is the difference between mild and hard steel?

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How does psychology differ from Pseudoscience?

Pseudoscience is, quite literally, a fake body of knowledge. True science relies on the scientific method, the process of observing and collecting evidence to test a hypothesis and formulate a theory. A "hard" science, such as biology, collects this evidence through true experiments, in which independent variables are manipulated by the experimenter in order to cause a change in a dependent variable. The variables are usually directly observable, such as cell death, an increase in heart rate, or the color of a plant leaf. Psychology is typically regarded as a "soft" science, because many of the variables are not directly observable. Psychology is a science of the mind; variables include emotions and behavior. And while drinking a glass of water is an easy behavior to study, aggression is not. How do you measure aggression? Do you include "feeling angry" in the definition? Psychology uses experimental methods to study human behavior and thought processes. Some branches of psychology, such as biological psychology (physiological psychology, neuroscience), collect data about physical and biological processes as well as behavioral responses; in this way, they are more closely related to hard sciences. But even softer branches, such as industrial/organizational or cognitive psychology rely on experiments to collect evidence to support their theories. And that is what makes psychology a science.

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