definition of conduct

Human behavior is the manifestation of behavior, that is, what we do. Our behavior can be analyzed from a psychological perspective, from ethical reflection or in a specific sense (for example, consumer behavior). On the other hand, the concept of behavior is also applicable to animals and ethology is the discipline that deals with this question.

Behavior and psychology

Psychology tries to know the mechanisms that influence our behavior. Traditionally psychology has dealt with the mental aspects that determine our actions. However, the current of behaviorism has changed this trend. As the name implies, behavioral psychologists focus on behavior, that is, on what we do and not on the internal processes that drive us to action. According to the behaviorism approach, there are laws of behavior (specifically, laws of learning) combined with conditioning mechanisms (for example, when we associate a particular action with something we want).

Behaviorism as a therapeutic approach maintains that it is possible to modify undesirable behaviors. In this sense, psychologists of this current use techniques to stop smoking using strategies to modify the smoker's behavior.

Although behaviorism is the current that most emphasizes the role of behavior, psychology in general deals with human behavior, especially those that are abnormal (mental illnesses, phobias or addictions).

Conduct and ethics

Most of our behaviors are not neutral, since we can classify them between good and bad from an ethical point of view. In principle, it might seem easy to distinguish between correct and incorrect behaviors by establishing general criteria (for example, it is good to help others and it is bad to be selfish). However, certain behaviors entail an associated ethical debate, that is, a dilemma about what is the right thing to do, as happens in issues such as abortion, euthanasia or the legalization of drugs.

The ethical dimension of the human being has a direct relationship with our personal responsibility, with the decisions we make or with compliance with the law. In fact, at some point we've all asked ourselves what should I do.

Analyzing the spectrum of consumers

Marketing experts try to understand the mechanisms of consumer behavior. For this, it is necessary to analyze various aspects: how they make their decisions when deciding a product, what kind of needs they have and what budget they have. This type of study has a certain complexity, since consumers are not always aware of the reasons that drive them to buy, since internal emotions play an essential role when deciding on a product.

The behavior of animals

Ethology studies animal behavior. Ethologists are scientists who observe the patterns that govern the behavior of animal species. While humans have cultural patterns combined with biological patterns, animals act exclusively by biological patterns of behavior, also known as instincts.

Ethologists study very diverse aspects of animal behavior: its aggressiveness, the mechanisms of mating or its learning capacity. A canine ethologist can help a dog reduce its aggressiveness and an equine ethologist can assist in the preparation of a competition horse.

Photos: iStock - 101cats / max-kegfire

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