behavioral science


Definition of behavioral science 

: a branch of science (such as psychology, sociology, or anthropology) that deals primarily with human action and often seeks to generalize about human behavior in society

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Other Words from behavioral science

behavioral scientist noun

Examples of behavioral science in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Smith is an assistant professor of marketing at Ohio State University and O’Brien is an assistant professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago. Robert W. Smith, Washington Post, "When searching for happiness, try eating popcorn with chopsticks," 7 July 2018 This finding suggests that the children with enlarged brains have a specific subtype of autism, says lead investigator Christine Nordahl, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of California, Davis. Rachel Zamzow, Scientific American, "Brains of Children with Autism Show Unusual Folding Patterns," 9 July 2018 But the ongoing replication crisis in the behavioral sciences could undermine the hope for clarity through research. Ian Bogost, The Atlantic, "Why Is There a ‘Gaming Disorder’ But No ‘Smartphone Disorder?’," 28 June 2018 Stephen Wendel, head of behavioral science at Morningstar, an investment research company, recently laid out eight changes that could help retirement savers do a better job of building a nest egg. Robert Powell, USA TODAY, "8 steps to building a better nest egg for your retirement years," 27 June 2018 Tapp-Harper, 50, has a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Coppin State University, and a master’s degree in applied behavioral science from Johns Hopkins University. Kevin Rector,, "Tapp-Harper, longtime Baltimore commander and spokeswoman for police and sheriff, wants commissioner job," 7 June 2018 Emeran Mayer, professor of physiology, psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, echoed those sentiments in a 2010 article in Scientific American. Matthew Martinez, miamiherald, "Your body has a 'second brain,' and here's how it keeps your butt smart, study says," 1 June 2018 The University of Texas at San Antonio received a $7.7 million grant this week to help financially disadvantaged, physically disabled and minority students pursue doctoral degrees in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Krista Torralva, San Antonio Express-News, "UTSA research program receives $7.7 million grant," 23 May 2018 The new report - published in the journal Psychological Science in the Public Interest - draws on hundreds of studies on psychology, behavioral science and vaccinations. William Wan,, "People can't be educated into vaccinations, but behavioral nudges help, study finds," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'behavioral science.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of behavioral science

1937, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of behavioral science was in 1937

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More Definitions for behavioral science

behavioral science


Medical Definition of behavioral science 

: a science (as psychology, sociology, or anthropology) that deals with human action and seeks to generalize about human behavior in society

Other Words from behavioral science

behavioral scientist noun

More from Merriam-Webster on behavioral science Encyclopedia article about behavioral science

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What made you want to look up behavioral science? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


obstinately defiant of authority

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