“What Animals Do” Doesn’t Seem To Cover It
Exploring the perception of “behavior,” researchers find disagreement among scientists and ultimately define behavior to be an “internally coordinated response that an individual or group makes to stimulus.” This definition is based on the classification of “natural phenomena” exhibited by animals and plants.
The concept and perception of “behavior” was analyzed by exploring respondent concurrence with potentially diagnostic statements about behavior, and then asking them to classify instances of natural phenomena as behavior or not. Research findings suggest that there is extensive lack of agreement over which instances are classified as behavior and which are not.
In summary, researchers defined behavior as “the internally coordinated response that an individual or a group makes to a stimulus. The response can be action or lack of action. The stimulus can come from inside or out.”
Examples of behavior include masting oak trees, bacterial colonies creeping across a sugar gradient, zebra herds fissioning and fusing, and dogs barking. Human thinking, however, is not a behavior.