A student asked me to answer the question: “Psychology is sometimes considered a social or “soft” science. There is often a line drawn between research within the field of psychology and research in the “hard” science fields, such as biology, chemistry, or physics. Why is this distinction drawn? Is it an appropriate division? Why or why not?”.
My answer: “I think the reason people try to make a distinction between “hard” sciences and “soft” sciences is because physics/biology/chemistry have distinct answers – as in, there is an exact answer to how many molecules are in a given formula or how one chemical reacts with another chemical.Within psychology, the answers vary depending on the person, the situation, the day – there are few distinct answers in psychology. I personally do not think this make psychology any less of a science than the others, as psychology still attempts to answer questions that are important to the human experience. Relatedly, science is science, and I believe arbitrary distinctions trying to belittle certain concentrations in the effort to make others seem more important are futile and irrelevant.”
Just my two cents 🙂