What Is Behavioral Science?

If you're interested in finding a field that takes an interdisciplinary approach to studying human behavior, read on. Behavioral sciences encompass fields such as anthropology, psychology, and sociology. Learn more about applied behavioral science, including your education and career options. Schools offering Applied Behavioral Science degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Behavioral Science Definition

Often associated with the social sciences, behavioral science explores the activities and interactions among human beings. Your duties working in this field might include the investigation and analysis of human relationships through the behavioral aspects of such disciplines as biology, geography, law, psychiatry, and political science. Behavioral science is a broad field of study, which can result in careers in a wide variety of fields. Therefore, you might choose to focus on a particular group of people, distinguished by race, age, nationality, or gender.

Important Facts About Behavioral Sciences

Programs Certificate in Behavioral Sciences available
Online Availability Undergraduate programs available online
Common Courses Human growth and development, statistics and research methods, counseling theories
Concentrations Community health, gerontology, health services management
Median Salary (2018) $79,010 (for psychologists)*
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 14% (for psychologists)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Undergraduate and Graduate Education Options

Pursuing a bachelor's degree in behavioral science involves coursework in its primary fields, in addition to a general liberal arts education. Because behavioral science is a broad field, most programs incorporate multiple disciplines. Your liberal arts coursework might include topics such as art, mathematics, ethics, philosophy, and literature. Core courses within the behavioral science major might include family and marriage relationships, ethnic groups and minorities, social change, group dynamics, and interpersonal communications. You might also choose to include classes in behavioral deviance, social psychology, and social justice in your studies, depending on your particular interests.

If you choose to earn a master's degree in behavioral science, your focus will likely be on various aspects of human behavior. However, some programs will encourage you to explore specific areas such as religious studies, philosophy, and archaeology. Moreover, in addition to taking coursework in human development and cultural diversity, you might also be required to complete a research thesis to earn your degree.

Career Options

Behavioral science jobs can be found in a variety of different career fields. For example, you could choose to pursue a research career in any of the individual areas of behavioral science, such as anthropology, philosophy, or psychology. You might also use your knowledge of human behavior to pursue a career in management, sales, or human services. Your interests might even lead to a career in law enforcement. Such options might include working in criminology, which studies the non-legal aspects of crime to determine the root cause of criminal activity, or criminal profiling, which studies crime trends and develops profiles of criminals in order to assist in their capture.

Behavioral Science vs. Psychology

Although there are many similarities between these two fields, the main distinction between behavioral science and psychology is that behavioral science is a broader term that encompasses the field of psychology. While behavior science is the study of the interactions between human beings, psychology more specifically looks at the science behind human behavior and mental processes. Behavioral science examples include the fields of psychology, anthropology, philosophy, religious studies, and more.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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  • Capella University

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