Difference Between Conduct and Behavior

In the field of psychology, as well as in everyday life, it is very common to permanently mention the terms conduct and behavior. We can add that the human being is a social being, since he is born he is in constant interaction with a natural environment and with a social environment where there are other human beings. In this environment the individual receives stimuli, acquires knowledge, aptitudes, skills and develops attitudes to interact with himself and solve the problems of said interaction.

That is why the characteristics, tastes and way of acting of each person are variable and are determined by the environment in which the person interacts. Thus, conduct and behavior are personal activities influenced by the person’s social, natural and cultural environment.

However, despite the fact that conduct and behavior are not synonymous words, both words are often used without distinction. That is why, then, the need arises to present both definitions first, so that the reader understands the meaning of each of them and specifies the correct use of each of the terms, by showing their differences.


The term conduct comes from the Latin -conductus- which means to lead. This refers to the way in which an individual or a group of individuals act in relation to other individuals within a society, group or culture.

It can be said that behavior is a conscious activity because the subject knows its implications and consequences. Likewise, it is observable, that is, it manifests itself before others and is also repeatable, since it occurs permanently or continuously.

The behavior is then, the set of actions of an individual in correspondence of others, within the environment where it operates.


Behavior can be defined as the way of proceeding of each individual in front of others and depending on the stimuli received from the environment. Behavior is influenced by the person’s culture, the stimuli they receive, the beliefs and the social norms within which the person develops.

Behavior is not necessarily a conscious activity because it refers to actions that the person commits in response to certain stimuli. The behavior is observable since it is manifested before others. However, it is not necessarily repeatable, since it can occur only once throughout the person’s life.

In short, behavior refers to the actions of an individual towards others at a given time.

Starting from the previous definitions, it can be seen that both terms differ from each other. That is why, below we will show the most important differences between conduct and behavior:

Conduct Behavior
The behavior is reflected in the personality and in the treatment towards others permanently. The behavior is reflected in certain situations or moments.
It is said that the behavior is conscious, because the individual is aware of his way of acting. The behavior can be conscious or unconscious because, being a manifestation of a stimulus, the individual may not be aware of it.
The behavior is voluntary, so the person decides how to act. He can modify his actions based on his own needs or based on the environment in which he lives. The behavior can be voluntary or involuntary, so it occurs at a certain time as a reaction to a stimulus from the environment.

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