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Character vs. Behavior: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 20, 2024
Character refers to the inherent qualities defining a person, while behavior is the observable actions or reactions of an individual.
Character vs. Behavior

Key Differences

Character encompasses the deep-rooted attributes and moral qualities of a person, like integrity and empathy. Behavior, on the other hand, is the manifestation of these qualities through actions and reactions in various situations.
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Feb 20, 2024
Character is often seen as more stable and enduring, reflecting the core values and ethics of an individual. In contrast, behavior can be more flexible and adaptable, changing according to the immediate context or environment.
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The development of character is influenced by a combination of inherent traits and life experiences, forming the essence of a person’s identity. Behavior, while influenced by character, is also shaped by external factors like social norms and immediate circumstances.
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Character is what we are on the inside, often judged by long-term patterns of thoughts and values. Behavior is what others see and observe, a reflection of character in specific instances and interactions.
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In literature and art, character often refers to the personality and traits of a figure in a story, whereas behavior is how that character acts and reacts within the plot.
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Comparison Chart

Definition

Inherent qualities of a person
Observable actions of a person
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Stability

More stable and enduring
More flexible and changeable
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Influences

Inherent traits, life experiences
External factors, situations
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Manifestation

Internal thoughts and values
External actions and reactions
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Role in Literature

Personality and traits of a figure
Actions and reactions in plot
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Character and Behavior Definitions

Character

Character refers to the moral and ethical qualities of an individual.
Her character was exemplified by her unwavering honesty.
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Jan 19, 2024

Behavior

Behavior refers to the response of a person to a particular situation.
Her calm behavior during the crisis was admirable.
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Character

The combination of mental characteristics and behavior that distinguishes a person or group.
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Behavior

In psychology, behavior encompasses the observable actions of a person.
The study focused on understanding the behavior patterns of adolescents.
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Character

The distinguishing nature of something.
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Behavior

Behavior in animals refers to the way they interact with their environment.
The behavior of the birds varied with the changing seasons.
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Character

Moral strength; integrity
An educational program designed to develop character.
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Behavior

The manner in which one acts or behaves.
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Character

Public estimation of someone; reputation
Personal attacks that damaged her character.
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Behavior

The actions or reactions of a person or animal in response to external or internal stimuli.
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Character

(Biology) A structure, function, or attribute of an organism, influenced by genetic, environmental, and developmental factors.
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Behavior

One of these actions or reactions
"a hormone ... known to directly control sex-specific reproductive and parenting behaviors in a wide variety of vertebrates" (Thomas Maugh II).
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Character

A person considered as having a specific quality or attribute
"Being a man of the world and a public character, [he] took everything as a matter of course" (George Eliot).
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Jan 18, 2024

Behavior

The manner in which something functions or operates
The faulty behavior of a computer program.
The behavior of dying stars.
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Character

A person considered funny or eccentric
Catcalls from some character in the back row.
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Behavior

(uncountable) Human conduct relative to social norms.
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Character

A person portrayed in an artistic piece, such as a drama or novel.
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Behavior

(uncountable) The way a living creature behaves or acts generally.
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Character

A person or animal portrayed with a personality in comics or animation
A cartoon character.
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Behavior

A state of probation about one's conduct.
He was on his best behavior when her family visited.
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Character

Characterization in fiction or drama
A script that is weak in plot but strong in character.
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Behavior

(countable) An instance of the way a living creature behaves.
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Character

Status or role; capacity
In his character as the father.
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Behavior

Observable response produced by an organism.
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Character

A description of a person's attributes, traits, or abilities.
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Behavior

(uncountable) The way a device or system operates.
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Character

A formal written statement as to competency and dependability, given by an employer to a former employee; a recommendation.
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Behavior

Manner of behaving, whether good or bad; mode of conducting one's self; conduct; deportment; carriage; - used also of inanimate objects; as, the behavior of a ship in a storm; the behavior of the magnetic needle.
A gentleman that is very singular in his behavior.
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Character

A mark or symbol used in a writing system.
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Behavior

Manner of acting or conducting yourself
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Character

A Chinese character.
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Behavior

The action or reaction of something (as a machine or substance) under specified circumstances;
The behavior of small particles can be studied in experiments
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Character

One of a set of symbols, such as letters or numbers, that are arranged to express information.
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Behavior

(behavioral attributes) the way a person behaves toward other people
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Character

The numerical code representing such a character.
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Behavior

(psychology) the aggregate of the responses or reactions or movements made by an organism in any situation
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Character

(Mathematics) The trace function of a representation.
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Behavior

Behavior is the way an individual acts or conducts themselves.
His behavior at the meeting was professional and courteous.
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Character

A style of printing or writing
"Here is the hand and seal of the Duke.
You know the character" (Shakespeare).
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Behavior

Behavior can indicate the mannerisms or actions of a person in social contexts.
The child's behavior in school was exemplary.
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Character

A cipher or code for secret writing.
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Character

Of or relating to one's character.
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Character

Specializing in the interpretation of often minor roles that emphasize fixed personality traits or specific physical characteristics
A character actor.
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Character

Of or relating to the interpretation of such roles by an actor
The character part of the hero's devoted mother.
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Character

Dedicated to the portrayal of a person with regard to distinguishing psychological or physical features
A character sketch.
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Character

To write, print, engrave, or inscribe.
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Character

To portray or describe; characterize.
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Character

(countable) A being involved in the action of a story.
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Character

(countable) A distinguishing feature; characteristic; trait; phene.
A single locus governing the petal colour character was detected on the linkage group A2.
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Character

A complex of traits marking a person, group, breed, or type.
A study of the suspect's character and his cast iron alibi ruled him out.
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Character

(uncountable) Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality; moral strength.
He has a great deal of character.
"You may not like to eat liver," said Calvin's father, "but it builds character."
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Character

(countable) A unique or extraordinary individual; a person characterized by peculiar or notable traits, especially charisma.
Julius Caesar is a great historical character.
That bloke is such a character.
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Character

(countable) A written or printed symbol, or letter.
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Character

Style of writing or printing; handwriting; the particular form of letters used by a person or people.
An inscription in the Runic character
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Character

A secret cipher; a way of writing in code.
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Character

One of the basic elements making up a text file or string: a code representing a printing character or a control character.
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Character

A person or individual, especially one who is unknown.
We saw a shady character slinking out of the office with some papers.
That old guy is a real character.
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Character

A complex number representing an element of a finite Abelian group.
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Character

(countable) Quality, position, rank, or capacity; quality or conduct with respect to a certain office or duty.
In the miserable character of a slave
In his character as a magistrate
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Character

The estimate, individual or general, put upon a person or thing; reputation.
A man's character for truth and veracity
Her actions give her a bad character.
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Character

A reference given to a servant, attesting to their behaviour, competence, etc.
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Character

Personal appearance.
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Character

(obsolete) To write (using characters); to describe.
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Character

A distinctive mark; a letter, figure, or symbol.
It were much to be wished that there were throughout the world but one sort of character for each letter to express it to the eye.
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Character

Style of writing or printing; handwriting; the peculiar form of letters used by a particular person or people; as, an inscription in the Runic character.
You know the character to be your brother's?
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Character

The peculiar quality, or the sum of qualities, by which a person or a thing is distinguished from others; the stamp impressed by nature, education, or habit; that which a person or thing really is; nature; disposition.
The character or that dominion.
Know well each Ancient's proper character;His fable, subject, scope in every page;Religion, Country, genius of his Age.
A man of . . . thoroughly subservient character.
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Character

Strength of mind; resolution; independence; individuality; as, he has a great deal of character.
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Character

Moral quality; the principles and motives that control the life; as, a man of character; his character saves him from suspicion.
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Character

Quality, position, rank, or capacity; quality or conduct with respect to a certain office or duty; as, in the miserable character of a slave; in his character as a magistrate; her character as a daughter.
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Character

The estimate, individual or general, put upon a person or thing; reputation; as, a man's character for truth and veracity; to give one a bad character.
This subterraneous passage is much mended since Seneca gave so bad a character of it.
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Character

A written statement as to behavior, competency, etc., given to a servant.
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Character

A unique or extraordinary individuality; a person characterized by peculiar or notable traits; a person who illustrates certain phases of character; as, Randolph was a character; Cæsar is a great historical character.
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Character

One of the persons of a drama or novel.
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Character

To engrave; to inscribe.
These trees shall be my books.And in their barks my thoughts I 'll character.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 18, 2024

Character

To distinguish by particular marks or traits; to describe; to characterize.
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Character

An imaginary person represented in a work of fiction (play or film or story);
She is the main character in the novel
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Character

A characteristic property that defines the apparent individual nature of something;
Each town has a quality all its own
The radical character of our demands
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Character

The inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions;
Education has for its object the formation of character
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Character

An actor's portrayal of someone in a play;
She played the part of Desdemona
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Character

A person of a specified kind (usually with many eccentricities);
A real character
A strange character
A friendly eccentric
The capable type
A mental case
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Character

Good repute;
He is a man of character
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Character

A formal recommendation by a former employer to a potential future employer describing the person's qualifications and dependability;
Requests for character references are all to often answered evasively
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Character

A written symbol that is used to represent speech;
The Greek alphabet has 24 characters
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Character

Engrave or inscribe characters on
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Character

Character encompasses the inherent traits that form an individual's personality.
His character was marked by a unique blend of optimism and realism.
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Character

Character is the deep-rooted aspect of a person that influences their decisions.
Her strong character guided her through challenging times.
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Character

Character in literature denotes the personality and traits of a fictional being.
The character of the hero was both complex and intriguing.
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Character

Character can represent the reputation or standing of a person in a community.
He was known in his community for his good character.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Is character inherent or learned?

Character is a combination of inherent traits and qualities developed through life experiences.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can behavior change over time?

Yes, behavior can change depending on circumstances and personal growth.
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Feb 20, 2024

Are character traits always positive?

No, character traits can be positive or negative.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can character be developed and improved?

Yes, character can be developed and refined over time.
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Feb 20, 2024

Does character influence behavior?

Yes, character often influences a person's behavior.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can a person's behavior contradict their character?

Yes, sometimes behavior may contradict one's character due to external factors.
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Is character important in literature?

Yes, character is crucial in literature for developing depth and relatability.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can behavior be learned or unlearned?

Yes, behavior can be both learned and unlearned.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can behavior reflect a person’s character accurately?

Behavior can reflect character, but it may not always provide a complete picture.
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Feb 20, 2024

Does the environment affect behavior?

Yes, the environment can significantly influence behavior.
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Feb 20, 2024

How is behavior observed?

Behavior is observed through actions, reactions, and interactions.
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How does culture impact behavior?

Culture can greatly impact the norms and expectations that shape behavior.
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Feb 20, 2024

Are moral values part of character?

Yes, moral values are a key component of character.
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Feb 20, 2024

Is behavior always a conscious choice?

Not always, as behavior can be influenced by subconscious factors and instincts.
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Feb 20, 2024

Is character static or dynamic?

Character can be relatively stable but also capable of growth and change.
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Feb 20, 2024

Is there a relationship between behavior and mental health?

Yes, there can be a significant relationship between behavior and mental health.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can behavior be predicted based on character?

Behavior can sometimes be predicted from character, but not always accurately.
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How do psychologists study behavior?

Psychologists study behavior through observation, experiments, and analysis.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can character be assessed?

Character can be assessed, but it is often subjective and complex.
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Feb 20, 2024

Can societal norms shape character?

Societal norms can influence the development of character, particularly through socialization.
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Feb 20, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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Shumaila SaeedShumaila Saeed
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A mother is a woman who has given birth to or raised a child, while a grandmother is the mother of a person's parent.

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