Individual behavior can be defined as a mix of responses to external and internal stimuli. It is the way a person reacts in different situations and the way someone expresses different emotions like anger, happiness, love, etc.
Individual Behavior Framework
On the basis of these elements, psychologist Kurt Lewin stated the Field theory and outlined the behavior framework. This psychological theory studies the patterns of interaction between an individual and the environment. The theory is expressed using the formula
B = F(P,E)
where, B – Behavior, F – Behavior Function, P – Person, and E – Environment around the person.
Say for example, a well payed person who loses his job in recession may behave differently when unemployed.
Causes of Individual Behavior
Certain individual characteristics are responsible for the way a person behaves in daily life situations as well as reacts to any emergency situations. These characteristics are categorized as:
- Inherited characteristics
- Learned characteristics
(i) Inherited Characteristics
The features individuals acquire from their parents or from our forefathers are the inherited characteristics. In other words, the gifted features an individual possesses by birth is considered as inherited characteristics.
Following features are considered as inherited characteristics:
- Color of a person’s eye
- Religion/Race of a person
- Shape of the nose
- Shape of earlobes
(ii) Learned Characteristics
Nobody learns everything by birth. First our school is our home, then our society followed by our educational institutions. The characteristics an individual acquires by observing, practicing and learning from others and the surroundings is known as learned characteristics.
It consists of the following features:
- Perception: Result of different senses like feeling, hearing etc.
- Values: Influences perception of a situation, decision making process.
- Personality: Patterns of thinking, feeling, understanding and behaving.
- Attitude: Positive or negative attitude like expressing one’s thought.