When it comes to classifying AP Psychology, there has been a lot of debate regarding whether it is a science class or social studies. Some people argue that psychology is a science because it uses the scientific method to study human behavior and mental processes.

Others believe that psychology falls under the social studies category because it involves studying human behavior and interactions within society. So, which side is correct? Let’s dive deeper into this topic.

The Scientific Nature of AP Psychology
Psychology has its roots in philosophy, but over time, it has evolved into a scientific discipline. In AP Psychology, students learn about research methods used in psychology, including experimental designs and statistical analysis. They also learn how to conduct experiments and analyze data to draw conclusions about human behavior.

One of the key aspects of science is the ability to replicate experiments. This means that if someone conducts an experiment under the same conditions as another researcher, they should get similar results. In AP Psychology, students learn about the importance of replicability in research and how it contributes to our understanding of human behavior.

Another hallmark of science is objectivity. In psychology, researchers strive to remain neutral when conducting studies and analyzing data.

They try to avoid bias and let the data speak for itself. This objectivity helps ensure that their findings are reliable and valid.

AP Psychology as Social Studies
On the other hand, some people argue that AP Psychology belongs in the social studies category because it deals with human behavior and interactions within society. Social studies classes typically cover topics such as history, geography, economics, political science, and sociology.

In AP Psychology, students learn about various topics related to human behavior such as personality development, motivation, sensation and perception, learning theory, social psychology, abnormal psychology and more. They also explore how these factors influence individuals within society.

In addition to this content-based argument for categorizing AP Psychology as social studies rather than a science, there is also a philosophical argument. Some people believe that science is too reductionist in its approach to explaining human behavior, that it cannot fully capture the complexity of the human experience.

So, What Is AP Psychology?

Looking at both sides of the argument, it seems that AP Psychology can be considered both a science and a social studies class. Psychology uses scientific methods to study human behavior and mental processes, which makes it a science. At the same time, psychology also deals with human behavior within society and how they interact with each other, making it a social studies subject.

Therefore, whether you classify AP Psychology as a science class or social studies depends on your perspective and how you view the field of psychology. Nonetheless, what is certain is that AP Psychology helps students develop critical thinking skills by understanding how to analyze data and apply theories to real-world scenarios.


In conclusion, AP Psychology can be classified as both a science class and social studies. It uses scientific methods to study human behavior while also exploring how individuals interact with each other within society. Regardless of how one categorizes this course, it remains an important discipline that helps us understand ourselves better and improve our interactions with others.