Study of Human Behavior
The study of human behavior is the focus of several of the social sciences, principally psychology, sociology, economics, and anthropology. Human behavior refers to any number of actions practiced by human beings that can be influenced by culture, emotion, values, genetics, or even coercion. Human behaviors are often categorized as acceptable, unusual, or unacceptable, but these labels are` cultural definitions that depend on social norms.
The various academic disciplines study human behavior from different perspectives. Psychology is the study of individual human behavior, especially mental processes. Brain functions, emotions and interpersonal relationships are studied as well. Sociology, on the other hand, studies human behavior in groups. There are influencing factors that bind humans together in societies, and sociologists tend to look at behaviors in organizations and groups.
Anthropology is the study of human cultural behavior, focusing on the roles that race, gender and biology have on human societies. Economics is the study of human financial behavior, and focuses on both macro and micro levels of human’s use of resources.
Many classic studies of human behavior have revealed that human beings are entirely capable of atrocious actions. In the 1960s, for example, Stanley Milgram conducted a controversial experiment where higher doses of electric shock were administered to innocent “victims” because an authority figure commanded the subject to do so.