Why do people behave the way they do?
How people behave is an interesting topic, that many curious minds dedicate their lives
studying people and their behavior. Although quite thousands of studies has already
been conducted to understand how people behave differently from each other,
questions keep coming in the process of knowing. This unending strand of curiosity
fueled the minds of the people with much influence in organizational behavior such as
Frederick W. Taylor, Henri Fayol, and Max Weber.
In Plomin’s “Genetics and Experience”, he examined the relationship of nurture and
nature in the development of individual differences. He explained how genetic theories
are intertwined with environmental influences. Both genetic and environment play a vital
role in the development of an individual’s behavior including mental health and
cognition. There are also several researches that would support the influence of nature
and nurture in the behavior of an individual where it was discovered that the heritability
of intelligence increases throughout development (Panizzon et al., 2014).
The manner how an individual deal with other people or how an individual treat an
animal would give us a glimpse how he/she behaves in a bigger environment. I have
identified four explanations that would help us understand why people behave the way
they do with reference to the nature and nurture which I mentioned earlier.
First, people behave the way they do because they’ve learned to by responding to their environment-Behaviorist. Behaviorism focuses on observable behavior as a means to
studying the human consciousness (Walinga, 2010). When somebody throws a joke on
you, you unconsciously laugh because that is the natural response to a joke. Likewise,
you could actually cry while watching a dramatic scene in your favorite movie.
Read: Why People Behave The Way They Do?
Secondly, people behave the way they do because of the way they think, the way their brain is programmed to, like a computer– Cognitive. Cognitive relates to or involving the
processes of thinking and reasoning (Cambridge Dictionary). A car usually stops when
the traffic light turns red and drives when it is green. The natural reaction results from
the programmed occurrences as a response to the traffic lights. Also, an individual’s
cognitive is developed through acquired knowledge and experience.
Third, people behave the way they do because they are driven to by unconscious
conflicts and things that happened in their childhood– Psychodynamic. The
psychodynamic approach includes all the theories in psychology that see human
functioning based upon the interaction of drives and forces within the person,
particularly unconscious, and between the different structures of the personality
(McLeod, 2020).An individual’s childhood experience can greatly affect his/her manner
of dealing with people. For example, a sexually harassed 7-year-old by her relative
could be traumatic and could lead to distrust to other relatives as well.
Lastly,people behave the way they do because it’s in their genes, their physiology and
their biochemistry– Biological. Your hair color, skin tone and height are greatly
influenced by biological factors. Such factors are not only limited to physical
appearance, it could also influence your behavior.
The human behavior, until now, is still a deep pit of mystery. It is a magical pit that
constantly gives us new revelations every time a study is being conducted. The way
people behave, although diverse, makes the whole Human Behavior even more worth
Read more:Top 10 difficult people at work
Plomin, R. (1994). Sage series on individual differences and development, Vol.
6.Genetics and experience: The interplay between nature and nurture. Sage
Kelly L. (2013, Sept. 26) Introduction to Higher Psychology. SlideShare.Net.