Difference Between Humanities Vs Social Science

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According to science, the earliest sign of human existence can be traced to as far back as over five million years ago. Since then, there has been immense development, an increase in numbers, and a lot of division which gave rise to different communities as we know then today. Time has also helped with the understanding of the best ways these communities can relate with one another for mutual benefits.

The existence of man and how he relates with others is still being very much studied today from various perspectives, some of which are understandably confusing. In this post, we would do a humanities vs social sciences comparison by their definitions as well as some other important key factors that show how they are different from one another.


Humanities can be defined as a field of study that deals with human behaviors analytically with regards to factors like tradition, culture, and heritage of the society in question. It can also be defined as a sub-division of science that deals with the distinct study of the way of life of a people.

This study is said to have officially begun in ancient Greece in the fifteenth century, specifically by a group of people known as the Renaissance Scholars. These scholars were known to help in popularizing the European civilization marked by classical learning of revival and classical wisdom. The aim is to understand as many behavioral characteristics of different communities in the past, and how it can affect people of the same community in the present day and the future.

The basic method used in this field of study is mostly analytical, speculative, and critical, and the study is based on the subject matter of creation and humankind in the past and present.


Social science can be defined as a scientific study that deals with the socio-cultural aspect of human existence. This means it is rooted in understanding the basics of interpersonal relationships between individual members of a particular society. This can be narrowed down to the lifestyle, method of interaction, the language of communication, religious affiliations, ideology, and even their diet. One can also say that it deals with the basic element of human culture.

If you compare social sciences vs humanities, you will come to understand that the former takes on a more objective nature of study, unlike the former which is more on the subjective side. They are both similar in the sense that they both deal with human existence, but their difference can be seen in the manner of approach and nature.

According to official records, social science was intentionally brought into view in the early nineteenth century, and it is part of the fundamentals of history as we know it today.

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Let us take a look at some of the main difference between social sciences vs humanities. In the table below, you will see the variations between these two as it has to do with factors like the typical area of study, method of approach, nature, and concepts.


Definition A field of study that deals with human behaviors analytically with regards to factors like tradition, culture, and heritage of the society in question A scientific study that deals with the socio-cultural aspect of human existence

Study approach Analytical Scientific

Branches Philosophy, art, literature, language, religion, and history Sociology, anthropology, and psychology

Nature Subjective – dependent on some factors which may be limited Objective – not dependent on some factors. Studies encourage thinking outside the box

Emphasis Understanding specific events and occurrences Behavioral patterns

Concept of truth Relativist Positivist


From the proven records of human existence, it is obvious that there has been continuous development from the days of the early men till the present day. Scholars believe that these developments will continue to eternity.

Seeing as this is the case, the study of human existence will continue to be fundamental. Understanding the difference between humanities and social sciences is instrumental to better interpersonal relationships for better development. These studies remain applicable in different works of life including law, economics, and international relations.

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