Behaviour and Personality are two different characteristics that define a person. A person is judged by their behavior and what traits constitute a part of their personality.
- Behavior is the observable actions, reactions, and habits of an individual. At the same time, personality is the unique set of characteristics, traits, and patterns of thought that define an individual and differentiate them from others.
- External factors, such as environment and social norms, can influence behavior. In contrast, personality is considered more stable and enduring, shaped by genetic and environmental factors.
- Both behavior and personality offer insights into an individual’s character and motivations, but behavior focuses on observable actions, while personality encompasses the underlying traits that drive those actions.
Behaviour vs. Personality
The difference between Behaviour and Personality is that the former is expressed through a person’s actions in general. That is to say; Behaviour stands for what a person does.
While the latter refers to a person’s innate characteristics like emotions, cognitions, and behaviour that have evolved through a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
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Behaviour refers to how a person acts or reacts to other persons and their surroundings. It is about how a person expresses.
Conversely, personality refers to an amalgamation of qualities and characteristics that defines a person. It finds expression through how one feels, thinks, and behaves.
In other words, Personality stands for what a person is.
|Parameter of Comparison||Behaviour||Personality|
|Definition||It is how a person acts or reacts to others and their surroundings.||It refers to an amalgamation of qualities like cognitions and emotional and behavioral patterns that have evolved through genetic and environmental factors.|
|Related to||It may relate to humans, animals, insects, microorganisms, elements, etc.||It is used to describe only human beings.|
|Expressed through||It is expressed through what a person does, which is their actions.||It finds expression through one’s thinking, emotions, and behaviour.|
|Prone to Change||It is based on the situation and therefore changes a lot.||It is inherent and therefore remains stable.|
|Nature of Change||It tends to be temporary.||It tends to be permanent.|
What is Behaviour?
It refers to how a person acts or reacts in a particular situation and to his surroundings. Although a person’s behavior is mainly influenced by his or her beliefs, values, and cognitions, it is ultimately situation-based.
That is to say; it changes as per the situation.
For example, a person may act professionally in an official meeting. On the other hand, they may work casually in a gathering with their friends and family.
But a person cannot be judged merely by observing how they behave, as behavior is all about how a person expresses themself. It is all on the outside.
For example, a person may be an extrovert but sometimes modify their behavior to remain silent.
Therefore to evaluate a person, apart from behavior, one needs to consider the person’s thinking, feelings, and capabilities. In short, the person’s overall personality needs to be considered.
Also, since the term is action-oriented, it can describe the actions and mannerisms of anything, e.g., human beings, animals, insects, microorganisms, and even non-living things.
The need to understand why people act in a particular manner has led psychologists to create a vast literature on Behavioural Psychology.
It attempts to study people’s behavior, including their feelings, thoughts, emotions, etc. and tries to modify them to improve emotional and mental disorders.
Some of the practical approaches in Behavioural Psychology include:
- Behavior Therapy: The hypernym for clinical psychotherapy that applies methods acquired from Behaviourism to recognize and change behaviors that are supposed to be unhealthy or destructive.
- Cognitive Therapy is based on the idea that our perception of certain things influences our feelings. It emphasizes the experiences of the present rather than the past and is based on problem-solving.
- Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy: It is a form of psychotherapy that aims to challenge negative thought patterns. It tries to change one’s perception of the self and the world to alter unhealthy or destructive behaviors.
- Applied Behaviour Analysis: Also known as Behavioural Engineering, it aims to improve behaviors of social significance like communication, social skills, academic skills, and adaptive learning skills such as hygiene, job competence, punctuality, etc.
Primary Techniques used to study one’s behavior include Operant and Classical Conditioning, Behavioural Modelling and Cognitive Restructuring. Some of the most famous theorists in Behavioural Psychology are B.F Skinner, Walter Mischel, and Albert Bandura.
What is Personality?
It refers to a person’s innate qualities that have evolved through an amalgamation of genetic and environmental factors. It defines a person in terms of what they are in actuality rather than what they do.
It is described in terms of a person’s cognitions, emotional patterns, and behaviour.
All these characteristics develop at an early age and therefore remain constant in a person.
One cannot change or modify one’s personality. It is inherent and stable. Wherever the person goes, they carry their personality with them.
It helps distinguish one person from another and enables one to predict a person’s behavioral pattern in a particular situation.
This predictable nature of personality has enabled psychologists to produce a vast literature on Personality Psychology that studies the tendencies leading to differences in behavior.
Some practical approaches to studying personality are cognitive, biological, learning and trait-based, humanistic, and psychodynamic approaches.
There are five components of a person’s personality:
- Conscientiousness: It assesses how organized, careful, self-disciplined, and deliberate a person is.
- Agreeableness: It assesses how an individual interacts with their social environment viz other individuals and within a team.
- Neuroticism: It assesses how an individual deals with stress.
- Openness to experience: It assesses how creative, imaginative, and unconventional an individual is.
- Extraversion: It assesses how energetic, outgoing, and sociable an individual is.
Together they are called CANOE or the Big Five.
Some of the significant theorists of Personality Psychology include Abraham Maslow, Alfred Adler, Carl Rogers, Gordon Allport, Hans Eysenck, and Sigmund Freud.
Main Differences Between Behaviour and Personality
- Both terms are used to evaluate a person. While the time Behaviour is used to define what a person does in general. The term Personality is used to define what a person is.
- The main difference between Behaviour and Personality is that the former is evaluated by observing the actions and mannerisms of a person. At the same time, the latter is evaluated by observing a person’s thinking, emotional patterns, and behavior.
- Behaviour can describe anything- humans, animals, microorganisms, and non-living things like elements, systems, etc. But the term Personality can only be used to describe human beings.
- Behavior is based on how a person acts or reacts to a particular situation and his surroundings. Therefore, it changes a lot. However, Personality is based on a combination of inherent and evolved qualities, and therefore, it remains stable.
- A person’s personality can be judged by how he or she behaves. But behavior cannot be judged in terms of one’s personality.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.