What Is Behaviour?

From: Dock, Jennie (JMD195@psy.soton.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Feb 28 1996 - 11:02:09 GMT

What is behaviour, and what are the boundaries between behaviour and
what the body does?

I have always made this distiction by defining reflexes and a
behaviours. Reflexes are an unconscious, predictable reaction to a
stimuli, whereas behaviour is where there could be a choice of
actions. For example, the dilation of the pupils, or brain waves-
surely these are reflexes rather than behaviours. This leads on to the
question of whether an action can be behaviour if it is unconsciously
performed. If a person is shown a picture of something repulsive, they
may grimace, so this could be called a reaction. However, is getting
out of bed in the morning, or making a drink of hot chocolate last
thing at night, a reflex or a behaviour? These are performed
unconsciously (at least by me) so they could be called reflexes. Maybe
the question we should be asking is where the boudary between
unconscious reflexes and conscious behaviour lies. Jennie

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