Difference Between Behavioral and Mental

Behavioral acts are an indication of mental stability. There are also various disorders related to the behavioral aspect of an individual.

While mental involves functioning and processing of the mind. Mental is the basis of behavioral patterns and responses towards a particular stimulus. Mental is used as slang in the United Kingdom to denote somebody or some process as insane and crazy. There are also several disorders related to the mental aspect of an individual.

Comparison Table Between Behavioral and Mental

Parameters of ComparisonBehavioralMental
Definition A clear, precise, unambiguous, and objective description of the behavior of the target or any competing behavior A clear, precise, unambiguous, and objective description of the mind and its functioning and processing
Origin Derived from a French and Latin word "havior" and "habēre" Derived from a Latin word called "mentum"
Professionals Experts in the field of behavioral are social workers, counselors, physicians and nursesExperts in the field of mental are psychiatrists, neurologists, therapists, clinical psychologists
Disorders Disorders in eating habits, reactions to situations, drinking and exercising habits Depression, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, substance abuse disorders, eating disorders
Synonyms Demeanour, observable activity, response, manners Psychology, cognitive, cerebral

What is Behavioral?

Behavioral refers to the behavior of an individual, system, organism, or entity. Behavior can be actions or mannerisms concerning the surrounding environment.

Behavior in the form of response is different from the other biochemical and psychological changes, as it develops and changes over a long period.

Behavioral learning theory is referred to as behaviorism. Behaviorism focuses on behaviors learned from the environment and a popular example would be positive reinforcement.

There can be several behavioral traits in the organism that have evolved through the species. Behavioral traits like good character can not only be inherited but also developed.

What is Mental?

The term mental refers to the cognitive and emotional aspects of any individual or organism. It consists of how the organism thinks and feels and it ultimately affects the behavioral response.

Mental aspects can be affected by socioeconomic conditions, education, occupation, level of social involvement, and quality of housing. Even genetics has a role to play in mental aspects.

The term mental has certain myths like children do not experience mental problems, people with some mental disorders are violent, there is no recovery from mental health issues or therapies and self-help are not beneficial.

The cause of these mental health issues could be varied and diverse but some common causes are abuse, isolation, loneliness, trauma, neglect, discrimination, or even stigma. Mental is also used as slang in the UK.

Main Differences Between Behavioral and Mental

  1. Behavioral health concerns the impact of behavior on well-being while mental health concerns the state of being of an individual.
  2. Behavioral is the basis of physical response while mental is the basis of behavioral response.
Difference Between Behavioral and Mental


Every response and activity of an individual is produced by mental processing after evaluation. Not only actions but behaviors, habits, pattern, style is related with the mental processing.

Behavioral and mental properties are the basis of the abiotic and biotic factors of the ecosystem. Though both the aspects are similar and interrelated, they have distinct differences and contrasts each other.

The occurrence of disruption in one can affect the efficient functioning of the other. It is important to take hints and indications offered as symptoms by the body and start the treatment, if required, at the earliest.


  1. https://europepmc.org/article/med/14513575
  2. https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/139/1/e20162141.abstract
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