Deutsch: Soziologie / Español: Sociología / Português: Sociologia / Français: Sociologie / Italian: Sociologia

For Comte, Sociology is a study of the types of explanations various societies accepted for natural phenomena. He believed that, as societies progress, they go from theological explanations, to metaphysical, to positivistic. By sociology, Comte also meant the study of the overt behavior of humans, especially social behavior.

Sociology in the psychology context refers to the study of social behaviour, institutions, and structures, and how these influence individual and group psychology. It examines the interplay between society and human behaviour, exploring how social environments, cultural norms, and social interactions shape mental processes and actions.


Sociology in the context of psychology involves analyzing the influence of societal factors on individual and collective behaviour. It bridges the gap between understanding personal psychological processes and the broader social frameworks within which these processes occur. Sociologists study how social institutions, such as family, education, and religion, as well as social stratification and group dynamics, impact human thoughts, feelings, and actions.

This interdisciplinary approach considers both macro-level factors (like social structures and cultural norms) and micro-level interactions (like interpersonal relationships and group dynamics). It acknowledges that human behaviour is not only the result of individual psychology but is also deeply embedded in and influenced by the social context.

Special: Historical and Theoretical Foundations

Sociology as a field was established in the 19th century by thinkers like Auguste Comte, Karl Marx, and Emile Durkheim, who sought to understand the relationship between individuals and society. In psychology, the integration of sociological perspectives can be seen in theories such as social learning theory, symbolic interactionism, and social identity theory.

Application Areas

Understanding sociology in psychology is relevant in various fields, including:

  1. Clinical Psychology: Considering social factors in the assessment and treatment of mental health issues.
  2. Social Psychology: Studying how societal influences affect individual behaviour and attitudes.
  3. Educational Psychology: Examining the role of social contexts in learning and educational outcomes.
  4. Organizational Psychology: Understanding how social structures within organizations impact employee behaviour and productivity.
  5. Health Psychology: Investigating how social determinants, like socioeconomic status and cultural norms, affect health behaviours and outcomes.

Well-Known Examples

  1. Social Learning Theory: Proposes that people learn behaviours through observation and imitation of others, highlighting the role of social contexts in learning.
  2. Social Identity Theory: Examines how individuals’ self-concepts are shaped by their group memberships, affecting their behaviour and attitudes towards others.
  3. Symbolic Interactionism: Focuses on how people create and interpret symbols in social interactions, influencing their behaviour and identity.
  4. Family Systems Theory: Studies how family structures and dynamics affect individual psychological development and behaviour.
  5. Cultural Norms and Mental Health: Investigates how cultural expectations and stigmas impact the prevalence and treatment of mental health disorders.

Treatment and Risks

Integrating sociological perspectives in psychology can enhance treatment approaches but also presents challenges:

  1. Holistic Treatment: Considering social and cultural contexts in therapy can lead to more effective and personalized treatment plans.
  2. Risk of Overgeneralization: There is a risk of attributing individual behaviours solely to social factors without considering personal psychological differences.
  3. Complex Interactions: Understanding the intricate interplay between social and psychological factors requires comprehensive and nuanced approaches.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing


  • Social isolation or difficulty in social interactions.
  • Stress or anxiety related to social or cultural pressures.
  • Behavioural issues influenced by social environments, such as peer pressure or family dynamics.


  • Cognitive-behavioural Therapy (CBT): Incorporates understanding of social influences on thought patterns and behaviours.
  • Family Therapy: Addresses family dynamics and their impact on individual mental health.
  • Community-based Interventions: Focus on social support systems and community resources to enhance mental health.


  • Social Support Networks: Building strong relationships and community ties to provide emotional support and resilience.
  • Cultural Competence: Therapists and psychologists developing an understanding of different cultural backgrounds to provide relevant and respectful care.
  • Environmental Modifications: Changing social environments, such as schools or workplaces, to reduce stressors and enhance well-being.

Similar Terms

  • Social Psychology: The scientific study of how individuals think, feel, and behave in social contexts.
  • Anthropology: The study of humans, past and present, focusing on cultural, social, and physical development.
  • Social Science: A broad field that includes sociology, psychology, anthropology, and other disciplines studying human behaviour and societies.
  • Cultural Psychology: Examines how cultural contexts shape psychological processes and behaviours.



In the psychology context, sociology examines how social factors, including institutions, structures, and interactions, influence individual and group behaviour. By integrating sociological perspectives, psychologists can better understand the complex interplay between society and human psychology, leading to more effective and holistic approaches to mental health treatment, education, and organizational management. Understanding the social context is crucial for addressing behavioural issues and promoting overall well-being.