Does Psychology use sociological concepts and methods? Discuss
The origin of disciplines like sociology and psychology took place so that the complex nature of human society and their behavior pattern can be understood. Sociology is focused of study human relationships within the larger society and how individuals interact with one another. While psychology studies human behavior and individual experiences along with their cognitive, emotional, and other process and their effect on society.
Sociology and Psychology are interlinked with each other as their main subject matter is human life and behavior though they focus from a different perspectives. Psychologists mostly deal with human emotions and how they develop their personality based on their society. While sociology focuses on collectivity and studies humans as part of the larger society.
The origin of social psychology is derived from the idea that society can be studied by giving prime importance to the study of individuals. Many sociologists led the origin of social psychology like Mead, Cooley, Simmel, and others. Social psychology as such is explained as the perspective of humans which is created because of others in society. It gives an in-depth explanation of social interaction.
Social psychology takes a lot of inspiration from sociological concepts and methods so that the link between humans and society is explained. One of the theories of Max Weber is Verstehen which means deep understanding so that there is an insider’s perspective about the cultures of different groups. Sociologists started using subjectivity in their study and evolved from mere generalization. Social psychology uses both qualitative and quantitative approaches to explain phenomena when concerned with large populations or two different sets of people. Their main approaches are ethnography and qualitative approaches which are important in sociology as well.
Another theory namely the Middle range theory is given by Robert K. Merton and American sociologists which explains that the functional unity of society is not true. As there are certain elements or systems in society that are not functional and do not work together with cooperation and maintain integration of society. He uses religion as an example to show that religious pluralism exists in society which creates differences in society. Social psychologist uses a similar approach when they try to explain aggression, cooperation, and competition in society. People also follow the middle range they do not always compete or cooperate they do when the situation demands.
Various perspectives of sociology like Symbolic Interactionism, social structure, and group process explain social psychological approaches as well. For example, the first one focuses on individual and their ways of constructing society from their perspective by adding meaning to it. Secondly, by making sense of their roles and interacting accordingly which shows the societal influence upon their interaction. Lastly, people of different groups interact with each other so that the concept of the group emerges in society.
Sociological social psychology studies contemporary circumstances which help in explaining the effects of individuals on society and society’s changes because of individual behavior. Both psychological and sociological analysis is taken into consideration.