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Studying Human BehaviorHow Scientists Investigate Aggression and Sexuality$
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Helen E. Longino

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226492872

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226921822.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 27 September 2021

Defining Behavior

Defining Behavior

(p.151) 9 Defining Behavior
Studying Human Behavior

Helen E. Longino

University of Chicago Press

This chapter analyzes the ways in which the particular behaviors of interest to the studies examined are operationalized and conceptualized, and sets that examination in the context of philosophical thought about the general concept of behavior. It argues that human behavior is so familiar to us that it is difficult to achieve sufficient distance to devise stable and meaningful constructs for investigative purposes. The two families of behavior whose scientific investigation form the subject of this book turn out to be especially elusive. Aggression, even when narrowed to non-state-sponsored interpersonal infliction of harm splinters into different measurable indices. The focus on sexual orientation, on the other hand, may conceal other dimensions of sexual variation that interact with the object of erotic attention/arousal.

Keywords:   human behavior, philosophical thought, aggression, sexual orientation, behavioral research

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