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Keywords:

  • behaviour;
  • behavioural measurement;
  • personality assessment;
  • personality theory

Abstract

Personality psychology has been accused of neglecting behaviour—of devoting insufficient attention to what people actually do. The current paper addresses four important issues regarding the study of behaviour as separate from other important psychological responses—the definition of behaviour, the importance of studying behaviour, the strengths and weaknesses of core methods through which behaviour is studied and the degree to which behaviour actually has been studied in personality psychology over the past 15 years (along with information about the use of specific methods of studying behaviour). Analysis of publication trends indicates that behaviour is not studied to the degree it merits; furthermore, it indicates that, when behaviour is studied, it is usually studied at a very generalized level relying on relatively weak methods. The current paper is offered as a starting point for focused discussion of these important issues, potentially enhancing the field's standing as a truly behavioural science. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.