Human behavior is the responses of individuals or groups of humans to
internal and external stimuli. It refers to the array of every
physical action and observable emotion associated with individuals, as
well as the human race. While specific traits of one's personality and
temperament may be more consistent, other behaviors will change as one
moves from birth through adulthood. In addition to being dictated by
age and genetics, behavior, driven in part by thoughts and feelings,
is an insight into individual psyche, revealing among other things
attitudes and values. Social behavior, a subset of human behavior,
study the considerable influence of social interaction and culture.
Additional influences include ethics, encircling, authority, rapport,
hypnosis, persuasion and coercion.
The behavior of humans (and other organisms or even mechanisms) falls
within a range with some behavior being common, some unusual, some
acceptable, and some beyond acceptable limits. In sociology, behavior
in general includes actions having no meaning, being not directed at
other people, and thus all basic human actions. Behavior in this
general sense should not be mistaken with social behavior, which is a
more advanced social action, specifically directed at other people.
The acceptability of behavior depends heavily upon social norms and is
regulated by various means of social control.
Human behavior is
studied by the specialized academic disciplines of psychiatry,
psychology, social work, sociology, economics, and anthropology.
Human behavior is experienced throughout an individual’s entire
lifetime. It includes the way they act based on different factors such
as genetics, social norms, core faith, and attitude. Behavior is
impacted by certain traits each individual has. The traits vary from
person to person and can produce different actions or behavior from
each person. Social norms also impact behavior. Due to the inherently
conformist nature of human society in general, humans are pressured
into following certain rules and displaying certain behaviors in
society, which conditions the way people behave. Different behaviors
are deemed to be either acceptable or unacceptable in different
societies and cultures. Core faith can be perceived through the
religion and philosophy of that individual. It shapes the way a person
thinks and this in turn results in different human behaviors. Attitude
can be defined as "the degree to which the person has a favorable or
unfavorable evaluation of the behavior in question." One's attitude
is essentially a reflection of the behavior he or she will portray in
specific situations. Thus, human behavior is greatly influenced by the
attitudes we use on a daily basis.
1.2 Social norms
1.4 Core faith and culture
2 See also
4 External links
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Main article: Behavioral genetics
Charles Darwin published his book On the Origin of Species
in 1859, animal breeders knew that patterns of behavior are somehow
influenced by inheritance from parents. Studies of identical twins as
compared to less closely related human beings, and of children brought
up in adoptive homes, have helped scientists understand the influence
of genetics on human behavior. The study of human behavioral genetics
is still developing steadily with new methods such as genome-wide
Main article: Norm (social)
Social norms, the often-unspoken rules of a group, shape not just our
behaviors but also our attitudes. An individual’s behavior varies
depending on the group(s) they are a part of, a characteristic of
society that allows their norms to heavily impact society. Without
social norms, human society would not function as it currently does;
humans would have to be more abstract in their behavior, as there
would not be a pre-tested 'normal' standardized lifestyle, and
individuals would have to make many more choices for themselves. The
institutionalization of norms is, however, inherent in human society
perhaps as a direct result of the desire to be accepted by others,
which leads humans to manipulate their own behavior in order to 'fit
in' with others. Depending on their nature and upon one's perspective,
norms can impact different sections of society both positively (e.g.
eating, dressing warm in the winter) and negatively (e.g. racism, drug
Main article: Creativity
Creativity is assumed to be present within every individual.
Creativity pushes people past their comfort zone. For example, the
Wright Brothers' invention of the first practical fixed-wing aircraft.
The aircraft first took flight in 1903, and fifty years later the
first passenger jet airliner was introduced.
Creativity has kept
people alive during harsh conditions, and it has also made certain
individuals wealthy. We use creativity in our daily lives as well,
such as finding a shortcut to a destination.
Core faith and culture
Another important aspect of human behavior is their “core faith”.
This faith can be manifested in the forms of religion, philosophy,
culture, and/or personal belief and often affects the way a person can
behave. 80% of the United States public claims some sort of belief in
a higher power, which makes religion a large importance in society.
It is only natural for something that plays such a large role in
society to have an effect on human behavior.
Morals are another
factor of core faith that affects the way a person behaves. Emotions
connected to morals including shame, pride, and discomfort and these
can change the way a person acts. Most importantly, shame and guilt
have a large impact on behavior. Lastly, culture highly affects
human behavior. The beliefs of certain cultures are taught to children
from such a young age that they are greatly affected as they grow up.
These beliefs are taken into consideration throughout daily life,
which leads to people from different cultures acting differently.
These differences are able to alter the way different cultures and
areas of the world interact and act.
Main article: Attitude (psychology)
An attitude is an expression of favor or disfavor toward a person,
place, thing, or event; it alters between each individual. Everyone
has a different attitude towards different things. A main factor that
determines attitude is likes and dislikes. The more one likes
something or someone the more one is willing to open up and accept
what they have to offer. When one doesn’t like something, one is
more likely to get defensive and shut down. An example of how one's
attitude affects one's human behavior could be as simple as taking a
child to the park or to the doctor. Children know they have fun at the
park so their attitude becomes willing and positive, but when a doctor
is mentioned, they shut down and become upset with the thought of
pain. Attitudes can sculpt personalities and the way people view who
we are. People with similar attitudes tend to stick together as
interests and hobbies are common. This does not mean that people with
different attitudes do not interact, the fact is they do. What it
means is that specific attitudes can bring people together (e.g.,
religious groups). Attitudes have a lot to do with the mind which
highly relates to human behavior. The way a human behaves depends a
lot on how they look at the situation and what they expect to gain
Human behavioral ecology
Human sexual behavior
Mathematical principles of reinforcement
Nature versus nurture
^ Ajzen I, Fishbein M. (1999) Theory of reasoned action/Theory of
planned behavior. University of South Florida.
^ Anholt, Robert R. H.; Mackay, Trudy F. C. (2010). Principles of
behavioral genetics. Academic Press. ISBN 978-0-12-372575-2. Lay
summary (16 October 2010). Plomin, Robert; DeFries, John C.;
Knopik, Valerie S.; Neiderhiser, Jenae M. (24 September 2012).
Behavioral Genetics. Shaun Purcell (Appendix: Statistical Methods in
Behaviorial Genetics). Worth Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4292-4215-8.
Retrieved 4 September 2013. Lay summary (4 September 2013).
^ Tanggaard, L. (2013). The sociomateriality of creativity in everyday
life. (pp. 20-21). Sage Journals. retrieved from
^ "'Nones' on the Rise: One-in-Five Adults Have No Religious
Affiliation". Pew Forum on
Religion & Public Life. October 9,
2012. Retrieved December 20, 2012.
^ Spilka, B., & McIntosh, D. N. (1996). The psychology of
religion. Westview Press.
^ Tangney, J. P., Stuewig, J., & Mashek, D. J. (2007). Moral
emotions and moral behavior. Annual Review of Psychology, 58, 345.
^ Triandis, H. C. (1994).
Culture and social behavior. McGraw-Hill
^ WYER, R. S. J. (1965). "Effect of child-rearing attitudes and
behavior on children S responses to hypothetical social situations".
Journal of Personality and Social
Psychology 2(4), 480-486.
^ KECMANOVIC, D. (1969). "The paranoid attitude as the common form of
social behavior. Sociologija, 11(4), 573-585". 7 (registration
Ardrey, Robert. (1970). The Social Contract: A Personal Inquiry into
the Evolutionary Sources of Order and Disorder . Published by
Atheneum. ISBN 0-689-10347-6
Frederick Edwords, 1989, What is humanism?, American Humanist
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