Behavior is movement of an organism through space and time.  It must past the “dead man’s test” which is to say, “if a dead man can do it, it isn’t behavior.”  Behavior can only be done by a living organism and does not include movements due to physical pressures exerted upon that organism.  For example, someone getting blown over by the wind does not constitute behavior.  Someone rolling around and getting up because of the wind exerting force on their body does constitute behavior.

3 fundamental properties by which behavior can be measured (Johnston and Pennypacker 1993a)

  1. temporal locus – when in time that behavior occurs
  2. temporal extent – how long that behavior lasts
  3. repeatability – how many times that behavior happens over time (aka, rate of behavior)

 

3 replies
  1. Natalia Couch
    Natalia Couch says:

    Hello! Thank you for your excellent tools to facilitate the study …
    question:
    Is burning with a candle a behavior?

    Reply
  2. Natalia Couch
    Natalia Couch says:

    Hello! Thank you for your excellent tools to facilitate the study …
    question:
    Is burning with a candle a behavior?

    Reply
    • Bearded Behaviorist l
      Bearded Behaviorist l says:

      No. Burning a candle does not constitute behavior. However, the candle is a permanent product of behavior because at some point a human either made it or built machines that made it. The machines didn’t emit behavior in making it, but the designing and building of the machines was behavior. The burning is a chemical reaction, but lighting and putting out the candle is behavior.

      I like to use a boulder on a hill as an example. The rain and wind eroding the dirt around and under this large rock are not behavior. Neither is the gravity that causes the boulder to fall is behavior. But the rat that dug a burrow under the boulder is behavior, as is the lichen that ate away at the underside of the large rock.

      Or another example is that fossils cannot behave, but they are permanent products of behavior.

      I hope this answers your question.

      Reply

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