Behavior

Foundational Concept 7: Biological, psychological, and socio-cultural factors influence behavior and behavior change.
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All content in “Behavior”

Biological basis of behavior: Nervous system

7A: The very fact that you are able to understand this sentence means that neurons in your brain (85 billion in total) are talking to each other. Neurons are the living substance of the nervous system, which extends beyond the brain to the spinal cord and peripherally, allows you to think and process, make decisions, stand up straight, maintain your heart rate, rest and digest. You will come to appreciate the structure and function of the nervous system as we delve into its anatomy and physiology, from the gray and white matter to the cerebellum to the neurons.

Biological basis of behavior: Endocrine system

7A: Glands are special organs that secrete chemical messages called hormones, which seep into the blood - it’s like putting a tea bag in hot water. As the heart pumps, this blood carries these chemical messages throughout the body, allowing the hormones to interact with specific target cells and organs. Not only do these hormones play a role in maintaining our appetites and concentrating urine, but they also have a huge impact on how we behave. In this module we will examine how these variegated hormones play a role in influencing human behavior, growth, and development.

Behavior and genetics

7A: Nature vs. nurture - it’s a dilemma scientists have aimed to answer for years. Do our surroundings or genetics have a greater impact on the individuals we eventually become? You will learn about the way our genes and experiences shape the ways we respond to our environment as we discuss experiments such as twin and adoption studies in the context of development.

Theories of personality

7A: Curious about your personality? It’s a complex thing which is difficult to define in even a book. Nonetheless, throughout history, several notable psychologists and schools of thought have attempted to figure out how to organize and categorize human personalities. We will review these theories and see which one resonates the most with you! By Shreena Desai. Motivation and attitudes - What makes us dot he things we do, or feel the way we feel in various social situations? We will discuss how the physiological and psycho-social theories, factors, and situations behind motivation, attitudes, and behavior are interrelated.

Psychological disorders

When someone breaks their leg they get a cast to fix the damage and when someone gets a papercut, they use a bandaid. But what happens when someone’s mind needs to be healed? Although many mental disorders are difficult to diagnose, these videos explore the symptoms and biological explanations of a few mental disorders that are extensively researched.

Normative and non-normative behavior

7B: Learn about how "normal" and "deviant" behavior is defined in today's society. This includes a discussion of the range of normal and abnormal behavior, common theories used to understand basic deviance, and discussion of some types of deviance that occur in groups.

Learning

7C: This is the most “meta” of all modules, in which you will learn about learning! Your environment has a huge impact on your future behavior, and your behavior itself has consequences on the environment. You will come to appreciate the mechanisms of classical and operant conditioning (and how you can apply these concepts to training your dog!). We will apply these to contemporary issues like the issue of violence in the media. As you go through this module, you will gain an understanding of how your brain retains new information.

Theories of attitude and behavior change

7C: Although people can learn new behaviors and change their attitudes, psychological, environmental, and biological factors influence whether those changes will be short-term or long-term. Understanding how people learn new behaviors, change their attitudes, and the conditions that affect learning helps us understand behavior and our interactions with others. The content in this category covers learning and theories of attitude and behavior change. This includes the elaboration likelihood model, theories of information processing, and social cognitive theory.