We need to study human behavior even as we participate in the day-to-day processes and activities of human life. The need to understand the behavior of others especially those we come in contact with, and the need to anticipate and predict how others may act in certain situations are important since we are affected by their actions.
We study human behavior in order to have an understanding of the actions of people. Its professional analysis could very well help an organization achieve its goals and pave the way for more productive relationships among individuals in groups and among groups in the organization. Hellrieger and Slocum expressed . . . “events do not occur merely by chance, but rather, that events are linked together.” By understanding and learning to anticipate the behavior of others, we also learn to influence others as shown in Milton’s model of understanding, predicting, and influencing. The understanding of people’s behavior makes the anticipation and prediction of events easier and smoother. We can thus influence them to think, feel, and act accordingly.
The study of human behavior is certainly indispensable in the formulation of laws, rules, policies, etc. Society cannot function at its maximum for the people if its components of the organization in which the individual belongs do not have guidelines that are appropriate and that provide for the satisfaction of his needs and for the attainment of his goals.
The realm of science and technology will be useless without the study of human behavior for it is their aim to make man live better and easier. Scientists and technologists wouldn’t know what to invent if they are not familiar with man’s needs.
Business, especially marketing, will not thrive without a study of people’s wants and desires. Man would not and cannot buy all the products and services the company offers. Selective buying is a behavior that an organization should be aware of and understand. For a firm, studying behavior can increase its productivity for it provides knowledge and information which can be the bases for improving its performance, for rational decision and policy-making, for better planning and organizing, personnel and human resources recruitment, screening, selection, promotion, and development.
It is worthwhile to study human behavior primarily because we are part of the human race, and it is by studying human behavior that we look not only into the personality of others but into our personalities as well. We come to terms with ourselves, understand different aspects of our personality, and find ways to improve ourselves and grow. Through introspection, we create self-awareness, an important ingredient in relating ourselves with others.
NATURE AND SCOPE OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Any act of an individual person which is considered human behavior is a reflection of his thoughts, feelings, emotions, sentiments whether conscious or not. It mirrors his needs, values, motivation, aspirations, conflicts, and state of life. Behavior, therefore, consists of all human activities. Human behavior occurs anywhere and everywhere. It is committed alone, with another person, with a group or an organization. The principles and concepts that underlie behavior are basic. It is their implementation and practice that differ from group to group or from one country to another.
Human behavior which is also called human act is different from act of man. When man performs an act with free will, he does a human act. He is responsible for such act which is performed with alternatives to choose from. It is free will from whence responsibility emanates and flows that makes man a human being perform human acts or human behavior.
An act of man is performed by one who is forced to do so at the risk of his own life. He does not have any other alternative/s to choose from. He is not given the opportunity to use his free will and thus, he is not responsible for this act. He, therefore, commits an act of man. An example is a man marrying a woman at the point of a gun. Instincts and reflexes are other examples of acts of man.
Human behavior can be understood best by developing frameworks from the behavioral sciences which represent a systematic body of knowledge pertaining to why and how people behave as they do.
1. Every person is significantly different from the moment of conception. From the time an individual is conceived, he undergoes a plethora of changes – physical, mental, social, psychological – as he grows and develops from childhood to adulthood.
2. Every person is a constantly active, goal-seeking organism. Whether consciously or unconsciously, he is goal-oriented.
3. Every person is dynamic. Status quo does not characterize his state since he is barraged by different forces around him.
4. The characteristics of an organization influence the behavior of the entire organization and, to a great extent, the behavior of individuals within it as well.
5. Behavior cannot be predicted with one hundred percent accuracy since it arises from the varying needs and value systems of many different people.
6. There are no simple formulas for working with people. No one best answer. No ideal organization exists, neither an ideal person.
1. Almost all behavior is learned. This applies to adults and children whose learning can be altered. However, this is not true to a newly born infant and to a fetus in the mother’s womb. The former sucks milk from the mother’s breast through instinct. By and large, learning is the first step in behaving. Whatever is learned can be modified or changed
2. Human being adapt. In accordance with their needs and values, individuals adjust to their environment. When their new learnings are congruent with their value system, they adopt them. What is adopted becomes part of their culture.
1. Thorndike’s law of effect states that behavior which is followed by a satisfying state of affairs tends to be repeated but a behavior followed by an unsatisfactory conditions tends to be extinguished.
2. Stimuli are those forces which impact the sensory organs of our five sensory input channels – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. The impact of stimuli is a function of frequency, recency, and felt intensity. Communication, in all cases, consists of the creation of stimuli.
3. Behavior is caused but its causality is uncertain and usually multiple. It may be classified as having either a rational (cognitive) or an emotional (affective) basis.
4. Classical conditioning is a powerful technique for altering the behavior of others. But man’s freedom of the will makes him responsible for his actions.
5. There are no two individuals who are alike in all dimensions. The differences become more striking as they are compared from the physical to the socio-psychological components. Hence, the great disparity in behavior even between twins, since behavior is a reflection of a person’s physical, mental, psychological characteristics.
METHODS OF STUDYING HUMAN BEHAVIOR
Human behavior is a phenomenon which was observed, described, and speculated on cursorily sans any formal and written objectives and procedures. The maintenance of good relationships between and among individuals and groups was considered an art which mainly used speculation, informal and irregular observation of people and incidents. Philosophy based on speculation and logic and physiology based on experimental observation were the only two main approaches to the study of human behavior.
The study of human behavior as a science began only in the 19th century. It was an offshoot of the studies in various disciplines like psychology, sociology, anthropology, and economics. Its foundations are rooted in these sciences. The methods used in the study of human behavior are the same as those in other sciences – experiments, surveys and case method. It makes use of observation, interview, questionnaire, check list, scales psychological tests, and statistics.
1. THREE-LEVEL METHOD. Milton proposed a model of studying human behavior at three levels: individual, group, and organization. It is called the I-G-O Model. This classification is the basis for differentiating the content of the courses in human behavior offered at the three program levels in schools. At the undergraduate level, the individual is the focus of attention; in the masters program, emphasis is placed on the group,; and at the doctoral level, human behavior is studied at the organizational level.
2. INTERDISCIPLINARY MODEL. Human behavior in organization is inter- and multi-disciplinary. At the individual level, psychology provides knowledge of perception, motivation and learning, while physiology and anatomy gives information and principles on the body and how it works. At the group level. Sociology and other disciplines like social work and education have given much contribution. Sociology offers insights into the roles, norms, authority, power, influence and status. Anthropology and other sciences like economics, business, law and medicine have wrought more changes and influences on human behavior at the organizational level. Culture and its artifacts are the main contribution of anthropology in the study of behavior in organization.
Physiology Social Work Economics, Business Anatomy Education Law, Medicine
VARIOUS SCIENCES THAT CONTRIBUTE TO THE
UNDERSTANDING OF HUMAN BEHAVIOR
3. DEVELOPMENTAL MODEL. People grow and move to higher levels of resourcefulness, creativity, competency, and self-realization through proper maintenance, recognition, and development programs. Keith and Davis call this the “human resources (supportive)approach.” These basic and potent needs are recognized and fulfilled by the organization which considers them as “the central resource in any organization and any society.
To the extent that people are well screened and selected, maintained and supported, recognized and developed, they can bring in and develop the various artifacts of an organization : philosophy (mission, goals, objectives, aims), funds (equity, borrowings, loans), values (needs, responsibilities), facilities (land, building, equipment, supplies), and technology (processes, knowhow). People are the main crux and heart of the organization, the six components are at their beck and call. These six components affect the individual who alters his behavior in a context which he himself has created.
4. SYSTEMS MODEL. A social system is a complex and dynamic set of relation- ships among its actors interacting with one another. An organization is a social system consisting of various parts at its subsystems. The systems theory posits that the organization is an open system with internal and external factors impinging on its subsystems making it very fluid, tenuous, dynamic and complex and these parts are interdependent and interrelated with each other This concept is opposed to the traditional view of a closed system with independent and uninterrelated parts.
5. CONTINGENCY MODEL. The varied factors in each problematic situation may constitute a unique condition. The problem- solver must explicitly consider the specific conditions to which a problem relates instead of simply prescribing a solution which may have worked elsewhere but under different conditions. This means that “no solution can work under all circumstances.” Every problem must be studied and analyzed in light of complex factors that may br highly interrelated with each other.
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