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.
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