Social behavior

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Social behavior is behavior among two or more organisms, typically from the same species. Social behavior is exhibited by a wide range of organisms including social bacteria, slime moulds, social insects, social shrimp, naked mole-rats, and humans.[1]

In sociology

Sociology is the scientific or academic study of social behavior, including its origins, development, organization, and institutions.[2]

Research has shown that different animals, including humans, share the similar types of social behaviour such as aggression and bonding. This can also be the same with species with a primitive brain such as ants. Even though humans and animals share some aspects of social behaviour with species such as ants, human social behaviour is much more complicated.[3]

In psychology

Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others.[4] In psychology, social behaviour is referred to human behaviour. It covers behaviours ranging from physical to emotional that we communicate in and also the way we are influenced by ethics, attitudes, genetics and culture etc.[5]


The types of social behaviour include the following:

Aggressive behaviour

Violent and bullying behaviour are two types of aggressive behaviour, their outcomes are extremely similar. These outcomes include affiliation, gaining attention, power and control.[6] Aggressive behaviour is a type of social behaviour that can potentially cause or threaten physical or emotional harm. People who suffer from aggressive behaviour are most likely to be irritable, impulsive and restless hence why this type of behaviour can range from verbal abuse to damaging victim property. Although, an outburst of aggression is highly common. Aggressive behaviour on the other hand is always deliberate, and occurs either habitually or in a pattern. The one way to handle aggressive behaviour is to understand what the cause is, Below is what can influence aggressive behaviour:

  • amily structure
  • Relationships
  • Work or school environment
  • Health conditions
  • Psychiatric issues
  • Life issues

In children

Poor parenting skills is one of the most common reasons why children are aggressive. Biological factors and lack of relationship skills are a couple to name. As children grow up, in many cases they tend to imitate behaviour from their elders such as violence or aggression. Aggressive behaviour can be irritating, and to stop a child from doing such, they receive attention for it from their parents, teachers or peers. However, there can be times where parents aren't aware of when such behaviour is occurring and unknowingly reward it; they are encouraging the child. Aggressive behaviour can lead onto bipolar disorders.[7]

In adults

Adults can also suffer from aggressive behaviour, these can develop over time, from undesirable life experiences or an illness. Disorders such as depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder tend to have aggressive behaviour but this is unintentionally exposed. However, those without any recent underlying medical or emotional disorder, frustration is the answer to their aggressive behaviour. Emotional behaviour can also trigger aggression when someone stops caring about others.[7]

Violent behaviour

An individual that threatens or physically harms another individual is classified as violent behaviour. Violent behaviour usually starts of with verbal abuse but then escalates to physical harm such as hitting or hurting.

In children

Violence is learned behaviour, just like aggressive behaviour, children imitate what they see from their elders hence why it is necessary to help your children understand that violence is not the best way to resolve conflict. You can always set a good example by resolving conflict in a calm manner. Violence such as spanking, pinching, shoving or even choking etc., should never be used to discipline your child.

There are many reasons to what triggers violence abuse, these include the following:

  • Childhood abuse
  • History of violent behaviour
  • Use of drugs such as Cocaine
  • History of arrests
  • Mental health problems, bipolar disorder
  • Presence of firearms in the household
  • Generic factors
  • Brain damage from accident
  • Exposure to violence in media
  • Socioeconomic factors such as poverty, single parenting, martial breakups, unemployment etc.[8]

Violent behaviour is similar to aggressive behaviour, it is either habitually or occurs in a pattern. The concept for violent behaviour is very simple, at first there is tension and conflict. This is then followed by either destruction of the individuals properties and then abuse. This pattern gets worse overtime hence why it is best to recognise the pattern as it may prevent violence from happening another.[9]

Behavioural and developmental disorders

  • Expressive language disorder, a condition where the child/adult has an issue with expressing itself in speech.
  • Seizure disorder, a neurological disorder that can possibly cause spasms minor physical signs or several symptoms combined that cannot be controlled by the brain.
  • Down syndrome, a chromosomal abnormality condition that changes over the course of development.
  • Attention deficit disorder, a common neurobehavioral disorder that has problems with over-activity, impulsivity, inattentiveness or possibly even a combination.
  • Bipolar disorder, a form of mood disorder characterised by a variation of moods that can change within minutes.
  • Autism spectrum disorder, a condition that affects social interaction, interests, behaviour and communication.[10]
  • Cerebral palsy, a condition caused by the brain that activates shortly after birth. It affects movement, abnormal speech, hearing and visual impairments and mental retardation.[11]

See also


  1. "Social Behavior - Biology Encyclopedia - body, examples, animal, different, life, structure, make, first". Retrieved 2015-11-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. sociology. (n.d.). The American Heritage Science Dictionary. Retrieved 13 July 2013, from website:
  3. Genetic Determinants of Self Identity and Social Recognition in Bacteria. Washington: Karine A. Gibbs, Mark L. Urbanowski, E. Peter Greenberg. 2008. pp. 256–9.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Allport, G. W (1985). "The historical background of social psychology". In Lindzey, G; Aronson, E (eds.). The Handbook of Social Psychology. New York: McGraw Hill.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>p.5
  5. "Psychology Glossary. Psychology definitions in plain English". Retrieved 2015-11-04.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Zirpoli, T.J (2008). "Excerpt from Behavior Management: Applications for Teachers,". 1. External link in |journal= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Aggressive Behavior". Healthline. Retrieved 2015-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Understanding Violent Behavior In Children and Adolescents". Retrieved 2015-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Violent Behaviour - HealthLinkBC". Retrieved 2015-11-03.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. Choices, NHS. "Autism spectrum disorder - NHS Choices". Retrieved 2015-11-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Other Developmental Disorders". Retrieved 2015-11-02.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>