Lars Penke (2009)

An ethological perspective on how to define and study behaviour. A commentary on Furr

European Journal of Personality, 23:421-423.

While Furr (this issue) makes many important contributions to the study of behaviour, his definition of behaviour is somewhat questionable and also lacks a broader theoretical frame. I provide some historical and theoretical background on the study of behaviour in psychology and biology, from which I conclude that a general definition of behaviour might be out of reach. However, psychological research can gain from adding a functional perspective on behaviour in the tradition of Tinbergens's four questions, which takes long-term outcomes and fitness consequences of behaviours into account. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.