Difference Between Natural Science and Social Science


Main Difference

The main difference between Natural Science and Social Science is that Natural Science is the study of natural events using scientific methods, whereas Social Science is the study of human behaviors and their relationships applying scientific and other methods.

Natural Science vs. Social Science

Natural science deals with the physical world. Social science deals with social interactions and human behaviors. The origin of natural science is earlier. Social sciences originated in the late 19th century. Natural science has two fundamental divisions: biological and physical sciences. Social science has many subdivisions. Natural science formulation occurs through scientific methods and laws. Social science needs scientific and other methods.


Natural science answer questions like how does a tree grow. Social science replies to why a man likes tattoos. The students who opt for natural science become doctors, engineers, astronomers, and nurses. The students who choose social science becomes historians, lawyers, judges, and social scientists. Natural science applies quantitative means of data collection. Social science uses qualitative and quantitative means for data evaluation.

Natural science’s focus area is natural happenings, while social sciences study events other than natural sciences. The limitations of natural science include technical and financial—social science limits experts in ethical and economic problems. Natural science creates an understanding of the complex phenomenon, whereas social science negotiates human attitudes and nature.


Comparison Chart

Natural ScienceSocial Science
Natural science deals with the physical world, and it is the study of natural events using scientific methods.Social science deals with human communities and relationships, and it is the study of human behaviors and their relationships, applying scientific and other methods.
Biology, physics, chemistryEconomics, political sciences, history
Scientific methods and lawsScientific as well as other methods
Medical doctors, chemists, biologistLawyers, writers, historians
How does a tree grow?Why some people like tattoos?
Comprehension of complex processesNegotiates human actions
Data Calculation
Quantitative methodsNot necessarily quantitative methods
Area of Study
Natural eventsOther than natural events

What is Natural Science?

Natural sciences are the sciences that deal with natural happening by applying scientific methods. Its primary concern is the events that separate them from the social sciences. Natural sciences arose when people were curious about the world; besides, want to use natural resources for human favor. Its aim is to discuss the laws that regime the world. Copernicus and Galileo were the earliest leaders of the scientific revolution; they discussed the problems of physics and astronomy.

The main sub-division of natural sciences is two: one is biological sciences that study living things, the other one is physical sciences that deals with non-living things. Physical sciences include chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth sciences, etc. The students who pursue their carriers in natural sciences can become doctors, engineers, nurses, astronomers, biologists, and chemists.

In the research areas of natural sciences, technical and financial limitations arise. The technical faults came forward during precise measurements, hence lead to the invention of the telescope and the microscope, whereas the need for expensive equipment leads to financial restriction.

Core Areas

  • Biology: It is a field of science that deals with the study of living things and life. This area covers the physical structure, chemical processes, history, and evolution of living organisms.
  • Chemistry: A discipline of science that study elements and compounds, their structures and properties. Chemistry is an intermediate science between biology and physics.
  • Physics: The natural science that study matter, energy, and interaction. This discipline relates to a motion, force, energy with space, and time.

What is Social Science?

Social sciences are the disciplines that deal with the study of groups, societies, human behavior and actions, and their relationships with other societal institutions. The definition is not concluding all the aspects of social sciences; it is a broad term. The origin of social science is late as compared to natural sciences. The scientific studies of social relationships started late in the 19th century. It is an understanding of the societal aspects of a group of people or a single individual. Its area of focus is social interactions and their existence in society.

There are many philosophical stances in the social sciences. The positivist position is the first stance in social sciences supported by social scientist Compte. The ideas say that scientific methods of natural sciences can also be applied the same as in social sciences. The concept also possessed opposition by advocates of interpretivism, who says that social relationships cannot be used for measuring in the way as we measure natural events.

Social sciences comprise a vast number of fields such as political sciences, sociology, history, economics, archeology, law, linguistic, and geography. Students who chose social sciences as their subject of study can become lawyers, judges, social workers, historians, librarians, accountants, and archeologists.

Social sciences face limitations in findings, financial problems, ethical issues, and complexity of variables to adjust all in a single field. Ethical issues came forward when we see that some social experiments require the sacrifice of mental peace and safety. Those social scientists who want to make meaning of their data need to interpret it to analyze.

Key Differences

  1. Natural science is the study of biological and physical sciences, whereas social science is the study of human behavior and social relationships.
  2. Natural science originated earlier; on the flip side, social sciences origin is late in the 19th
  3. Natural science’s fields are biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, etc. On the other hand, the sub-fields of social sciences are sociology, law, history, linguistics, etc.
  4. Natural science applies scientific methods and laws; conversely, social science applies scientific as well as other methods.
  5. Natural science leads the student to pursue their future as doctors, engineers, astronomers, and biologists; on the other hand, social science leads students to pursue their future as lawyers, historians, social scientists, and writers.
  6. Natural science answer questions like how does a tree grow, while social science answer questions like why a person likes tattoos.
  7. Natural science provides apprehension of the complex phenomenon of nature, whereas social science describes human life and actions.
  8. Natural science applies quantitative methods of data collection; conversely, social science does not concentrate on quantitative methods.
  9. Natural science is the study of natural events; on the flip side, social science is the study of events other than natural.


Natural Science and Social Science both are the main fields of science. Natural Science is the study of natural happenings for understanding complicated processes of nature. Social Science is the study of groups and societies for understanding human attitudes and nature.

Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss