Q:

What is a behavioral trait?

A:

A behavioral trait is an action commonly observed in individuals throughout a species, such as human beings laughing and smiling or cats grooming themselves. In animals, such traits are generally ascribed to instinct, though they can often be modified. In humans, behavioral traits are often learned rather than instinctive.

Behavioral traits are at the heart of the nature versus nurture controversy debating which human behaviors are inborn and which are learned, according to Scitable. It was thought for a long time, for example, that addicts were weak-willed, but more recent science has shown that addicts are often genetically predisposed to addictive behaviors. Today scientists generally agree that human behaviors are made up of complex interactions between socially learned behaviors and inherited behavioral traits.

The human ability to modify behavioral traits through learning has proven to be evolutionarily advantageous. Humans were able to leave the warm climate of African and move into Europe, for instance, because they figured out how to clothe themselves and hunt new animals. Tool-making appears to be an instinctive behavioral trait among primates, but teaching the young how to make and use tools is a social behavior. Other instinctive human behavioral traits, such as the fight-or-flight response, can be modified in some people but appear to be relatively hard-wired in most.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What is overt behavior?

    A:

    Overt behavior refers to actions that are able to be observed. These include behaviors such as whispering, walking, yawning and jumping. People who study human behavior sometimes classify overt actions into categories by form, intensity, duration and frequency.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is behavioral management theory?

    A:

    Behavioral management theory studies how productivity in business or similar applications can be managed by concentrating on the motivations of the workforce. This includes analyzing employees' expectations, group dynamics and teamwork, conflict resolution and personal interests. Behavioral management contrasts with classical management, which ignores workers and focuses on productivity outcomes.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is the "trait and factor theory" in counseling?

    A:

    The trait and factor theory postulates that career decisions should be made when an individual has accurate knowledge and understanding of his traits. The traits considered for occupational decisions are the right aptitudes, interests and personal abilities. In addition, a person should have knowledge of the available jobs and the status of the labor market. A person must also be rational in judging the traits and the labor market.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does "personality trait" mean?

    A:

    A personality trait is a characteristic that is distinct to an individual. Psychologists determined that there are five major personality traits and that everyone falls into at least one of them.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore