Human Behavior

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  Dimensions That Affect Human Behavior

Personal Dimension affects human behavior in that the way we perceive others depends on the cognitive accessibility possessed by the person and how fast their characteristics come to our minds. These differences in accessibility cause different people to concentrate more on the differences in the other person.

For instance, one may first see attractiveness due to one’s high regard for physical appearance. The carefulness in one’s processing of information about others will affect their perception and behavior.


Environmental factors affect behavior and perception as follows. When environmental influences are shared, the psychological outcomes of a person are greatly affected by their rearing circumstances. For example, an individual brought up in a home that stimulates them intellectually will most likely end up having a high IQ.

On the other hand, one brought up in an alcohol abusive home where there are problems in marriage may end becoming overly aggressive.


Time dimension affects behavior in that behavior that becomes accepted in a particular era could end up becoming punishable in another period. Also, behavior that became restricted at a particular time in history could end up becoming acceptable. This shift is mainly affected by culture and what becomes considered the norm or as punishable in behavior. A good example is dressing and fashion.

What is considered decent today could have been considered indecent in the twentieth century.
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  Diagnostic Labels

The use of diagnostic labels underlines the fact that words possess power in defining what we see and perceive, thus blocking us from perceiving or seeing different perspectives from that of the diagnostic label. They affect our thoughts on how the environment interacts with us; and also how we are perceived or thought of in our environment.

When one is labeled as having ADHD, for instance, enables those close to them to appreciate his/her high energy. Diagnostic labels, when leading to an understanding that is empathetic and drawing effective responses, are helpful.


On the negative side, a diagnostic label in use by an individual can heighten their awareness of data that is confirmatory. If a person labels themselves to be anxious, they will more likely notice moments of nervousness that they would have ignored before. The same holds for a PTSD label.


  Cognition vs. Emotion

Cognition is a sum total of all the processes of planning, problem-solving, language, attention, and memory. Cognitive processes have become believed to involve complicated functions that are primal and controlled in nature. Emotions, on the other hand, are states which are products of punishments and rewards. Emotions encompass the conscious and unconscious evaluations of occurrences.


James’ theory or feeling theory, states that emotions are caused by stimuli that activate the sensory cortex and bring up motor and somatic responses either directly or indirectly. Feedback from these responses goes back to the sensory cortex and produces emotional experience. As such, emotions and emotional experiences are the conscious experiences of responses by the body.


This theory equates the emotional experience to emotions. Schachter’s theory contrasts feeling theory in that emotional experience comes after somatic body response. It argues that there is a lack of specificity in these responses, and as such, they cannot cause particular emotions. 


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