What Is Behavior?

By: Michael G. Conner, Psy.D, Clinical, Medical & Family Psychologist
More Information: www.CrisisCounseling.Com
Phone: 541 388-5660

Revised:  July 1, 2001

A behavior is anything we do. It can be any action you take, what you are thinking, what you say, a memory, a sensation or an emotion.

The word behavior is often confused with our physical actions. Behavior is much more that we can merely see or hear. How we think is a behavior. All behavior is connected. For example, how we feel when we think about the future can impact the choices we make and the actions we then take. 

We cannot know directly what people think. But we can write and discuss our thoughts in detail. We cannot know directly what people feel, but we can observe their tears and listen to their words and relate to their experience. We can conclude they are sad.

In the most general sense, "Human beings are what they do". We think, feel, act, remember, make choices and experience in the world.