There are several methods used in studying human behavior, such as observation, experiments, correlation studies, surveys, case studies and testing. Human behaviors manifest in many ways and are determined by culture, emotions, attitudes, values, ethics, coercion, persuasion and genetics. Upon completion of study, conclusions are determined. The study of human behavior enables psychologists and other social scientists to suggest explanations for human behavior.Continue Reading
Naturalistic observation is used to study both human and animal behavior in their respective natural settings. This observation involves extracting information about where the organisms live, their diet and mating habits, all of which provides crucial information when making assumptions about their survival. Case studies are the most common method of studying human behavior. These focus on gathering information on a select few individuals.
The science of self is another method of studying human behavior. This involves asking a large number of people to fill out questionnaires designed to provide information on specific elements of their behavior changes. Repeated surveys over a long period of time help track shifts in public debates or actual behavior. Correlations are used in making future predictions based on the current trends, such as success of a student in school, effectiveness as a parent or the likelihood of developing a mental disorder. In studying human behavior, psychologists also use experiments to determine the relationship of variables by systematically altering one and observing the outcome of such variation.Learn more about Psychology
One can find case studies in abnormal behavior in the books “Case Studies in Abnormal Behavior” and “Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology.” The books are available for purchase and rent on Amazon.com.Full Answer >
Biology is important to psychologists in several ways: Comparative methods learned in biology compare different species and help to understand human behavior. Physiology studies the nervous system and the functioning of the brain and helps to determine how these systems affect behavior. Study of inheritance helps in predicting human behavior.Full Answer >
Psychology experiments can explore processes behind human or animal learning, memory or behavior. Some good psychology experiment topics involve conformity, the Stroop effect, gender and memory.Full Answer >
Although the debate continues regarding which has the greater effect on human behavior, it is generally accepted that the contributing factors of both nature (innate traits) and nurture (acquired traits) account for the wide variety of personalities, career paths and emotional characteristics among individuals in a society. The mid-20th century saw a shift away from the role played by genetics, or the "nature" factor, in personality development as researchers began to lean more towards the role played by an individual's interaction with their environment, or the "nurture" factor. By the latter part of the 20th century, the more influential focus was no longer centered around behavior developing independently of environment and viewed instead as an interactive process involving inherited traits, upbringing, peer experiences, random environmental events, media and socioeconomic status.Full Answer >