We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Social Behavior?

Laura M. Sands
By Laura M. Sands
Updated Mar 03, 2024
Our promise to you
TheHealthBoard is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At TheHealthBoard, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Social behavior is a term used to describe the general conduct exhibited by individuals within a society. It is essentially in response to what is deemed acceptable by a person’s peer group or involves avoiding behavior that is characterized as unacceptable. This type of human behavior primarily determines how individuals interact with one another within a group or society. While social conduct is often modeled to create a comfortable social environment, anti-social behavior, such as aggression, scapegoating and group bullying, may also be defined as negative social behavior, particularly in instances where other individuals within a peer group all behave accordingly.

Just as positive interactions among individuals in a society help create a pleasant environment for citizens, activities defined by peer groups to be acceptable, even if harmful to select individuals or subgroups within a society, are also part of social behavior. Studies of massive human rights violations have helped illustrate the extent by which harmful, but socially acceptable, behaviors have persisted in some societies. Examples of widespread acceptance of negative behavior within a peer group include historical incidents of mass genocide and human enslavement.

With the use of specially designed behavior therapies and programs, doctors, educators and others can help individuals who are suffering from social disorders, such as shyness or unrestrained anger, learn how to overcome these issues to become more productive members of society. Not only is the study of how social conduct affects members of mainstream society important, but in studying anti-social behavior, in particular, mental health professionals are able to help people isolated from society become rehabilitated and engage in positive interactions with others. Even when considering the prevalence of the dual inheritance theory, which attributes human behavior to a combination of genetic selection and cultural influence, social conduct programs may have a positive impact in correcting socially maladaptive behaviors in individual patients. Research within sociology and psychology have questioned whether traits, such as altruism, may be genetically influenced while, at the same time, be rooted in social psychology.

Through the study of social psychology, it is known that humans are not the only beings influenced by social groups. Researchers studying animals and insects have found that social behavior governs the activities of these groups, as well. This is particularly evident in animals and insects that live their entire lives within a group of the same species and where each member has a role to play in that group’s survival.

TheHealthBoard is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

By anon325713 — On Mar 18, 2013

Is this situation an example of a social behavior in society? Women discussing with their partner, friends and family if they should keep the baby - or have an abortion or adoption.

By mutsy — On Apr 25, 2011

@Sneakers41 - I wonder about the same thing too. For example, what influences a woman to pursue a life as a nun when in the same family you may have another sibling that chooses a more conventional career path?

I also wonder when celebrities give money to charitable causes are they doing so because other celebrities have done so or is it because they really want to help the charity.

It is just like when there is a telethon on television to raise money for a cause. Do you contribute because of the totals that you see on the screen or do you give money because you really believe in the charity.

Sometimes these types of events cause competitive pressure for people to be altruistic but I wonder how many really would have given money to the cause without the telethon.

By sneakers41 — On Apr 23, 2011

@Bhutan - That is a good idea. I also wonder how some people become altruistic and others don’t. For example, I saw a program the other day in which a group of college graduates decided to do a documentary about the children suffering in Darfur.

It was a graphic account and they travelled all over the country in order to draw attention to the plight of these defenseless children.

It was really amazing and they were able to get a lot of celebrities to support them on this cause. I wonder if this type of behavior is learned though a value system growing up or is it just a result of social influences based on the people that the young men chose to hang around with.

By Bhutan — On Apr 22, 2011

@Cafe41 -I agree with what you are saying, but I think if you cement your values early on and the child is used hearing this they will not fall into the trap.

For example, when discussing bullying, I explained to my children that people that bully others are really sort of broken. They are very unhappy people that are trying to get attention.

When my children understand this they know that not only is bullying wrong, but it is not personal.They also know to assert themselves in a polite manner and usually the bullying would go away.

They have never had these problems but when we watch movies in which this takes place, I go over this with them so that they will understand how social influences on behavior occurs.

By cafe41 — On Apr 21, 2011

I think that the most delicate time for people to develop their social behavior and personality is in junior high and high school. This is the time when social interaction with those deemed most attractive is at its peak.

This could be dangerous because kids that are guided in this manner often will do whatever they need to in order to belong to the coveted group. This could mean participating in group bullying or drinking alcohol, doing drugs, or having sex.

The social influence is greatest during this time and the parent’s influence seems to decline. This is why it is important to keep an open dialogue with your kids because even though you may think that they don’t hear what you are saying they do.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

TheHealthBoard, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.