Before going into the details of the topic psychology and human behaviour, it is pertinent to understand the background of the given topic.
Understanding the motives and actions of individuals is what makes the study of human behaviour so challenging. Human behaviour and the many forms it can take are the subject of countless theories. For many reasons, including better illuminating social patterns and individual decision-making processes, an appreciation for the complexities of human behaviour is of paramount importance.
One’s ability to position themselves and understand how others see, interpret, and adapt to their respective environments greatly improves with knowledge of human behaviour.
What is human behavior in psychology?
Take into account a wrapped gift. Even though you can’t see what’s inside the package, there are still hints you can use to figure out what it is. These include the package’s size, shape, weight, sound when shaken, and whether or not it feels solid or soft. By keeping an eye on all of these indicators, you can reasonably infer the current situation.
Human nature is fickle like that. Your outward actions and words reveal your inner state. Since psychologists can’t see inside people’s heads to gauge their mental states, they’ve always had to rely on observations of their actions to draw conclusions. However, after Ivan Pavlov introduced the concept of conditioning to the world in the early 1900s, the study of behaviour took on new significance.
Different theories of human behavior
Conditioning is one of the most widely held theories regarding human behaviour. Conditioned behaviour results from repeated exposure to a desired environment. Different people may respond more strongly to one of the two main types of conditioning.
Naturally, there can be ethical or moral debates about conditioning people to behave a certain way, especially if that behaviour is counter to the conditioned person’s best interests. Then there are those who argue that everyone has a predetermined character flaw that dictates their behaviour.
Associating stimuli with desired outcomes is the hallmark of classical conditioning. As a result, people are more likely to engage in actions that will bring them happiness and satisfaction when subjected to this type of conditioning. Someone is more likely to be a nonconformist and take risks, for instance, if they find that they are more successful when they go with their gut rather than the book.
It is not necessary for a single agent to initiate classical conditioning. This sort of conditioning can come from repeated exposure to a particular setting or culture.
To put it simply, operant conditioning uses both positive and negative reinforcement to shape people’s actions. Those who repeatedly run afoul of the law for the same transgressions are more likely to associate rule breaking with negative outcomes. Similarly, if you consistently study for exams and perform well, you’ll associate studying with good results.
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People’s natural inclination is to avoid unpleasant experiences and seek out those that bring them joy and contentment. These are some of the mechanisms proposed to explain the effects of classical and operant conditioning on human behaviour.
Cognition is a widely held belief in the field of human behaviour, which states that people’s actions are driven by their own thoughts, inner judgement, motivations, etc. The internal struggles, thoughts, and emotions of an individual are given significant weight in this theory, which argues that these factors ultimately manifest themselves in the outward behaviour of an individual.
Mental health studies, psychological studies, and other types of research provide substantial support for cognitive theories that explain human behaviour. Everything we see in the material, physical world today had its origin in the thoughts of one person.
Human behaviour and its types
These days, many different explanations for human behaviour are commonplace. Knowing these theories is helpful, but so is knowing the different kinds of human behaviour and what motivates them. Human beings are a diverse and complex species, so it is likely that many people will fit into more than one category.
Some people may have a natural inclination in one direction, while others may be propelled by entirely different motivations. However, the details below are essential for grasping the veracity of human behaviour.
1) Interest-based behavior
The extent to which someone is interested influences their actions is substantial. An individual’s interest in something can motivate them to act in ways that are inconsistent with their values and principles. Also, one’s level of interest is usually the deciding factor in whether or not they will take risks or work toward a goal.
If you’re interested in someone or something, you’re more likely to pay attention to them than if you weren’t. Predicting or theorising about future human behaviour by gauging a person’s interest in something can be a very effective method.
2) Personality-based behavior
A person’s character shapes their actions in significant ways. People can vary greatly in their levels of patience and calmness, with some being extremely impatient and prone to outbursts. To judge someone’s character from a brief encounter is usually impossible. Getting a sense of who or what you’re dealing with requires spending some time with them and engaging in conversation.
Some people just have more outgoing personalities than others, and there are many things that can influence this. The personality and other aspects of an individual can be shaped by cultural, environmental, and social factors.
3) Emotions-based behavior
When considering how people act, it’s important to keep in mind the role emotions play. Even if they don’t realise it, the emotional underpinnings of many everyday actions and decisions are often overlooked.
A person’s propensity to take risks, broaden their perspective, and act in other ways can all be influenced by their mood. Just as being in a bad mood can cause one to do destructive things like shut down or isolate themselves, so too can it cause them to withdraw from society. Emotions play a significant role in shaping human behaviour, even when other factors are at play.
4) Attitude-based behavior
As with one’s interests and personality, one’s attitude has a substantial impact on how they act. One’s attitude may be correct or incorrect depending on the individual’s upbringing and the extent to which they have been exposed to various forms of social conditioning.
There is, however, no denying that one’s outlook shapes their decision-making, their interactions with others, and their overall human behaviour. Someone with a more optimistic outlook on life is more likely to be receptive to new ideas and experiences. Similar to how a bad mood can make people avoid or ignore anything they find unappealing, a negative outlook can cause the opposite to happen.
Self-control and human behavior
To better understand human behaviour has benefited society in countless ways. This is an undeniable fact, and self-control remains crucial despite the fact that there are different ways to define it, different theories about it, and different categories of human behaviour. Ultimately, you are responsible for the results of your behaviour, so how you act is always important.
When things are going smoothly and you don’t feel like you have anything to lose, it’s not hard to behave well and keep yourself under control. However, it is often one’s actions in the face of pressure, anxiety, and difficulties that prove to be the most telling.
Whether or not you are able to keep your composure in the face of adversity or difficult circumstances is largely a function of your own level of self-control. A lack of self-control makes it much more difficult to avoid trouble than self-management skills.
Self-control isn’t a guarantee against negative emotions like anger. Personal characteristics such as your temperament, passions, and outlook will still play a role, but you’ll have more control over your life overall if you cultivate self-discipline.
Both positive and negative outcomes result from human actions. It’s your own decisions and actions that will lead to either happy or unhappy results.
You need self-control to keep your behaviour under control and shield yourself from unfavourable outcomes. Many people can think of situations in which they either wish they had been more self-controlled or are grateful that they were.