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