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Definition of Behavior

(noun) How an individual or group acts or conducts themselves when interacting with another individual, group, or event.

Examples of Behavior

Behavior Pronunciation

Pronunciation Usage Guide

Syllabification: be·hav·ior

Audio Pronunciation

– American English
– British English

Phonetic Spelling

  • American English – /bi-hAY-vyuhr/
  • British English – /bi-hAY-vyuh/

International Phonetic Alphabet

  • American English – /bɪˈheɪvjər/
  • British English – /bɪˈheɪvɪə/

Usage Notes

  • Plural: behaviors
  • Behaviorism (behaviourism) is the systematic study of behavior in animals and humans.
  • People are socialized in acceptable behavior through positive and negative sanctions.
  • A type of attribute.
  • Type: collective behavior
  • Variant spelling: behaviour
  • A (noun) behaviorist (behaviourist) or (noun) behavioralist (behaviouralist) (adverb) behavioristically (behaviouristically) studies (adjective) behavioristic (behaviouristic) or (adjective) behavioristorical (behaviouristorical) ways people (verb) behave.

Related Quotations

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Additional Information

Related Terms


Kendall, Diana. 2006. Sociology in Our Times: The Essentials. 5th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Spradley, James P., and David W. McCurdy. 2008. Conformity and Conflict: Readings in Cultural Anthropology. Boston: Pearson Education.

Tarrant, Shira. 2009. Men and Feminism. Berkeley, CA: Seal Press.

Works Consulted

The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. 5th ed. 2011. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Encyclopædia Britannica. (N.d.) Britannica Digital Learning. (https://britannicalearn.com/).

Macmillan. (N.d.) Macmillan Dictionary. (https://www.macmillandictionary.com/).

Merriam-Webster. (N.d.) Merriam-Webster Dictionary. (http://www.merriam-webster.com/).

Oxford University Press. (N.d.) Oxford Dictionaries. (https://www.oxforddictionaries.com/).

Princeton University. 2010. WordNet. (https://wordnet.princeton.edu/).

Random House Webster’s College Dictionary. 1997. New York: Random House.

Ravelli, Bruce, and Michelle Webber. 2016. Exploring Sociology: A Canadian Perspective. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pearson.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Behavior

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “behavior.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved June 18, 2024 (https://sociologydictionary.org/behavior/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

behavior. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/behavior/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “behavior.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed June 18, 2024. https://sociologydictionary.org/behavior/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“behavior.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 18 Jun. 2024. <https://sociologydictionary.org/behavior/>.