Behavioral science includes all the branches of science that investigate the interactions among organisms in the natural world. It consists of the analysis of human and animal behavior through experiments. Behavioral science is the study of the communication within and in between organisms that form the social system. Behavioral sciences take into account psychology and neuroscience to analyze the behavior of human beings and animals.
Behavioral science experiments are conducted in order to bring out the behavioral patterns in animals or human beings and investigate their responses to stimuli. Their patterns of behavior in a certain kind of environment help the researchers infer how an individual behaves in a particular type of surrounding or situation. It leads them to make observations about the patterns in human and animal behavior.
Experiments on Human Behavior
You will need some volunteers who are ready to be experimented on. Give them a clear idea of what the experiments are going to be and assure them that they are only helping you with behavioral analysis and that the experiments are not going to harm them in any way. Before you begin conducting the experiments, make sure that the volunteers are comfortable with the setup.
Effect of Colors
Have kids of different ages as volunteers. The aim of this experiment is to analyze how colors affect choices in humans. Place plastic balls of various sizes and colors and ask the kids to pick one. Observe the color chosen by the majority. See if the size affected the choice of color and how. Infer whether the age or gender of the kids affected the choice of color.
As a variant to this experiment, have a short passage written in different colors and ask the volunteers to memorize the content. Observe if the color of writing made the content easy or difficult to memorize.
Reactions to Media Content
Have teenagers or adults as volunteers. Show them scenes from movies of different genres and observe their reactions. Your observations could include things like who laughed the most on watching a comic scene or who was the most scared on watching a horror scene, or how everyone reacted to violence. Check the blood pressure of the volunteers at the end of the experiment. Infer how different emotions affected their blood pressure levels.
As a variant to this experiment, give each volunteer something to read. Choose from joke books, romantic stories, murder mysteries, etc. and note how deeply involved the subjects get and how the emotions portrayed by the books affect them. Observe how they react to the content and note the change in their blood pressure levels at the end of the reading session.
Another variant to this is to expose the volunteers to different kinds of music and note which type of music is favored by the majority and what kind of music is disliked. Note if parameters such as volume, tonal quality, and the musical instrument(s) involved influence the volunteers' reactions. You could analyze if individuals who liked the same type of music have certain other traits in common. This should let you infer how one's personality affects his taste of music.
How Gender Affects Interaction
Have a group of girls and boys as volunteers. Pair each girl with a boy and give each pair a topic to discuss. Observe the way they interact. In each pair, observe who speaks more, who listens more, and who communicates more confidently. Infer whether gender influences ways of interaction.
As a variant to this or if the number of kids is less, have them form one group and give them a topic for discussion or to brainstorm on. Observe each child's behavior and degree of participation in the discussion, observe who is more vocal and who chooses to be the spectator. Infer whether gender is linked to the degree of participation.
Responses to Situations
Have adults as volunteers. Give the group hypothetical situations and ask them to state their reactions. Note who is the fastest to react or shows promptness in answering. Make observations about how age, gender, upbringing, as also the cultural and educational backgrounds of the subjects affects their responses.
Adapting to Technology
Have senior citizens as volunteers. Give some of them tablets (computers) to read from and let the others read from books. Make observations about their speeds of reading and grasping content from two different modes. Observe the degree of discomfort experienced initially and whether and in what time they could adapt to reading from the screen as against the book.
Experiments on Animal Behavior
Animal behavior has always been a subject of interest for many. As animals do not communicate the way human beings do, it becomes even more interesting to understand their behavioral patterns. For these experiments, it is advisable to take help from someone trained in handling animals or someone who is used to working with them. Also, you need to ensure that no animal is harmed in the process.
Effect of Light on Worms
As your apparatus, take some live worms, soil, starter food, and transparencies of different colors. Simulate a worm habitat with the help of starter food and soil. Carefully place the worms in the environment created by you. Replace the transparencies, one color at a time and note the changes in the worms' behavior. This experiment needs expert guidance.
The aim of this experiment is to study ant behavior in the presence of different types of sugars. Simulate the ant habitat on a small scale. Prepare solutions of different kinds of sugars, for example honey, molasses, and table sugar. Stir them well and place them in the ant habitat. Observe which sugar solution attracts the most ants. Seek the required guidance and take the safety measures needed.
How Cats Respond to Stimuli
The stimuli could be cat food, objects that cats can play with, or even music. Observe how the cats react to these stimuli, whether one cat leads and the others follow it, or whether each cat reacts differently and at a different time. Gather information about the cats' general behavior from their breeders or owners. It will help you infer how their breed or environment influenced their responses to stimuli.
Dog Breed and Behavior
The aim of this experiment is to analyze how dogs of different breeds react to situations. Place a certain toy or their favorite food before them and observe how each dog reacts and how quickly. Note the degree of aggression or calm displayed by each dog. Also note the other observable behaviors like barking, drooling, sniffing, running towards or away from the stimuli, etc.
The nature and behavioral patterns of humans and animals are so complex and unpredictable that they arouse the interest of many. Though experiments like these are not enough to draw concrete conclusions about their nature or behavior, they are good ways to analyze how genetic, environmental, and other such factors influence behavior. Pick one of the behavioral science experiments we have given here, or device your own. Kids are advised to conduct these experiments under adult supervision and for anyone conducting these, it is advisable to take able guidance and the safety measures, as applicable.