Behavior vs Operant - What's the difference?

behavior | operant |

As nouns the difference between behavior and operant

is that behavior is (behaviour) while operant is an operative person or thing.

As a adjective operant is

that operates to produce an effect.

Other Comparisons: What's the difference?



Alternative forms

* behaviour (everywhere except US) * (l), (l), (l), (l)


  • (uncountable) Human conduct relative to social norms.
  • (uncountable) The way a living creature behaves or acts generally.
  • (uncountable, informal) A state of probation about one's conduct.
  • He was on his best behavior when her family visited.
  • (countable) An instance of the way a living creature behaves.
  • (countable, uncountable, biology, psychology) Observable response produced by an organism.
  • (uncountable) The way a device or system operates.
  • Usage notes

    * Adjectives often applied to "behavior": human, animal, physical, chemical, mechanical, electrical, organizational, corporate, social, collective, parental, interpersonal, sexual, criminal, appropriate, inappropriate, correct, incorrect, right, wrong, good, bad, acceptable, unacceptable, poor, ethical, unethical, moral, immoral, responsible, irresponsible, normal, odd, deviant, abnormal, violent, abusive, aggressive, offensive, defensive, rude, stupid, undesirable, verbal, nonverbal, learned, professional, unprofessional, adaptive, compulsive, questionable, assertive, disgusting, self-destructive.




    (en adjective)
  • That operates to produce an effect.
  • * Shakespeare
  • thy most operant poison
  • * 1955 , edition, ISBN 0553249592, page 117:
  • I tell you frankly, if Paul Aubry is guilty I hope is convicted and punished; but if one of the others is guilty I hope he—or she—is punished, and if I knew anything operant to that end I certainly would not withhold it.


    (en noun)
  • An operative person or thing.
  • (psychology) Any of a class of behaviors that produce consequences by operating (i.e., acting) upon the environment.
  • Derived terms

    * inoperant * operancy * operant conditioning


    * inoperant

    See also

    * Skinner box


    * ----