Behavioural sciences

Behavioural sciences

Behavioural science (or Behavioral science) is a term that encompasses all the disciplines that explore the activities of and interactions among organisms in the natural world. It involves the systematic analysis and investigation of human and animal behaviour through controlled and naturalistic experimental observations and rigorous formulations. (E. D. Klemke, R. Hollinger, and A. D. Kline, (ed) (1980))

Difference between behavioural sciences and social sciences

The term "behavioural sciences" is often confused with the term "social sciences". Though these two broad areas are interrelated and study systematic processes of behaviour, they differ on their level of scientific analysis of various dimensions of behaviour. Behavioural sciences essentially investigates the decision processes and communication strategies within and between organisms in a social system. This involves fields like psychology and social neuroscience, among others.

In contrast, Social sciences study the structural-level processes of a social system and its impact on social processes and social organization. They typically include fields like sociology, economics, history, public health, anthropology, and political science (As per E. D. Klemke, R. Hollinger and A. D. Kline, eds., 1988).

Categories of behavioural sciences

Behavioural sciences includes two broad categories: Neural-"Decision sciences" and Social-"Communication sciences". Decision sciences involves those disciplines primarily dealing with the decision processes and individual functioning used in the survival of organism in a social environment. These include psychology, cognitive, organization theory, psychobiology, management science, operations research (not to be confused with business administration) and social neuroscience.

On the other hand, Communication sciences include those fields which study the communication strategies used by organisms and its dynamics between organisms in an environment. These include fields like Anthropology, Organizational behaviour, Organization studies, Sociology and Social networks.

Behavioural sciences as integrative sciences

Neural-Decision sciences form the bridge between the behavioural sciences and Cognitive and natural sciences through creating theories that account for the interaction of bio-physical systems and cognitive processes in decision making of the organism. Social-Communication sciences form the link between behavioural sciences and social sciences through the interaction of individual cognitive and communication strategies and social-structural processes.

Thus behavioural sciences lies at the crossroads between the natural sciences and the social sciences, linking broad areas of scientific exploration.


See also

* Behavior
** Human behavior
* List of academic disciplines
* Science
** Fields of science
*** Natural sciences
*** Behavioural sciences
*** Social sciences
** History of science
** History of technology

elected bibliography

*George Devereux: "From anxiety to method in the behavorial sciences", The Hague, Paris. Mouton & Co, 1967
* Neil J. Smelser and Paul B. Baltes, ed. (2001). "International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences", 26 v. Oxford: Elsevier.
*E. D. Klemke, R. Hollinger, and A. D. Kline, (ed) (1980). Introductory Readings in the Philosophy of Science. Prometheus Books, New

External links

* (Software and labs for behavioral research)
* (Canadian journal of behavioural sciences)
* (Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences - Stanford University)
* (Tools for behavioral research)
* (Association for the Behavioral Sciences and Medical Education)

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