Are they the same difficulty level??
I am planning for next semester and im debating whether to take an other psychology class or sociology cause I loved psychology. Both are needed but I have the option to wait.
During my senior year of high school, I took Intro to Psychology night class at a community college. I’m currently a freshman in a 4-year college, with an Intro to Sociology class (1 month to go until done with Intro to Soci). The difficulty depends mostly on your teacher/professor. He or she may have different grading systems, lecture styles, homework, and expectations. But based on simply learning the materials from the textbook, I’d say both have relatively similar difficulty.
Since I love learning human behavior and why we act the way we act, I took psychology first, then switched to sociology because criminology is a branch of sociology. I don’t have a lot of experience with either, but I can give the gist of sociology based on what I have learned.
As for whether you would like sociology, it depends on your interests. If you like learning about social behavior, I recommend taking intro to sociology. So I’ll give a brief summary of what to expect:
I’m assuming you’ve taken Intro to Psychology already. It talked about the brain, its various parts, and their functions; hormones and some chemicals and medicines; mental disorders; brain development; gender roles; conditioned and unconditioned stimulus, experiments, experiment styles (participant observations, for example), theories; vision, hearing, and other senses; therapy, psychotherapy; etc etc. In a way, intro to psychology sounds more clinical/medical than sociology. I like to compare psychology as like explaining the “internal” (the psychological and physiological) aspect, while sociology is the “external” (influences by others) aspect.
Sociology focuses more on culture, gender roles, social class, perceptions and interpretations, and influences. I think sociology is closer to explaining why people commit crimes, or why we act like this. Intro to sociology, or at least in my textbook, uses 3 major theorists-category to explain various situations/behaviors: functionalist, symbolic interactionists, and conflict theorists. Hmm…I can try to give an example of how psychology might differ to sociology with the reasons on why people commit crime: psychologists (this does not refer to all or majority) may believe those who commit street crimes have genetic predispositions or personality disorder that leads to deviant acts. For sociology, they may say that its those who you hang out with/influenced the most from that leads you to deviant acts (differential association), or that the rich are exploiting the poor, thus the poor are more likely to commit crimes to reach cultural goals (conflict theory + bit of strain theory). Sociology will explain who are most likely to commit street crimes, why they are more likely to do so, how society perceives them, and society’s reactions to them. Other interesting topics include how we try to fit in (Cooley’s theory: you change how you act based on how you perceive others’ perceptions of you, even though their perceptions of you may not match your perceptions of their perceptions) and why we may not react to a crime in progress (groupthink and bystander effect: diffusion of responsibility). Sociology emphasizes a lot on culture, gender roles, and social class that it is guaranteed to be talked about in every chapter. It will also explain how society has changed over time, how our norms, attitudes about certain topics, have changed, and how we are still changing.
Wow, it is sort of hard to compare and describe them because of the many aspects included in each. It is easier and more clear to understand if you take the introduction to both; that way, you are able to compare them. However, if you are a person who likes to understand human behavior like me, I think you would like sociology because both gives their own reasons and justifications to human behaviors, and also have their own specialization or emphasis for another category in the social science field.