In 1687 Isaac Newton presented the three laws of motion. These laws created a massive advancement into the Age of Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution. The laws were taken very seriously and not many questioned them, since it was science. Fast forward to the modern day, behavioural laws have been introduced and people question and go up against every aspect of it. Like Isaac Newton’s laws, there are also three laws of human behaviour. These laws, although quite similar, have different intentions since they are different aspects of the world. By relating physics to behaviour, it solidifies and provides an example on the effects of actions toward behaviour.
The first behavioural law states, “behaviour tends to follow the status quo unless it is acted upon by a decrease in friction or increase in fuel” (The Three Laws of Human Behaviour, 2020). This law is similar to Newton’s first law: “force is necessary for a change in motion to occur” (Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, 2020). The status quo (as mentioned before in the law of behaviour) has shaped our society from the very beginning, as time has passed the values and morals of society have changed and therefore changes the status quo and the behaviour of human beings. From a very young age the status quo has been placed onto many human beings, differing per culture, creating boundaries and ideals for the person to follow. The decrease in friction can be related to an obstacle people face in life, by having this obstacle in a person’s life (i.e. a loved one dies) the person’s behaviour greatly changes. Whether it’s visible to another person or not, the behaviour still changes and affects others. The friction may slow down a person’s activity rate and can lead to a decrease in motivation and in extreme cases depression. The increase in fuel is another type of force, this fuel increases the attractiveness of a behaviour, this leads to creating rewards for completing a ‘boring’ or tough task and excites the person once it is over. This ideal can create a positive and negative habit if it isn’t manipulated. This also changes behaviour; a person may become more motivated or persistent in order to complete the task to the highest of their ability. The fuel motivates people, it gets things done. While many seek a way to ‘activate’ the fuel, it can be just as simple as a change in behaviour or mindset.
The second behavioural law states, “behaviour is a function of the person and their environment, B=f(P,E)” (The Three Laws of Human Behaviour, 2020). The equation can be simplified down to this: the behaviour (B) of a person, is the product of the function (f) of a person’s personality (P) including the environment (E). Another thing to weigh into the equation is a person’s knowledge, beliefs, history and motivation. All these things make an impact on a person’s behaviour. Newton’s second law states that “force equals mass times acceleration (f=ma)” (Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, 2020). While this is another equation and is intended for science, behaviour does link to physical laws. The two equations prove that an environment impacts the force or behaviour. This can link to the psychological argument of nature vs nurture. The equations prove evidence that the nature and the nurture aspects of a person’s life are highly important in one’s self growth. Both equations feature a force and an environment, in a real-world situation the force may be a boss pushing their worker to meet the deadline. If the rest of the workplace (the environment) put this person down, depending on how they react to negative words (friction or fuel) it may make or break this person, changing their behaviour. Actions and environments play a key role in a person’s behaviour and how it is managed.
The third behavioural law is “for every decision made, there are trade-offs and the potential for unintended consequences” (The Three Laws of Human Behaviour, 2020). The trade-offs and unintended consequences affect behaviour greatly as abrupt changes in a person’s life will activate the fight or flight response. This response in relation to behaviour challenges the person on their reaction to the life situation thrown at them. Depending the response their natural instinct chooses their behaviour will vary as these responses may vary per person. Newton’s third law states: “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction” (Newton’s Three Laws of Motion, 2020). Once again, the laws that are intended for physics correlate with an everyday person’s behaviour. People may not actively think about physics every day, but a person’s behaviour is a daily occurrence. Both third laws are about action and reaction/consequence, these actions can be consciously made by the person or another person creates the action to occur (consciously or subconsciously). The reaction and consequence can affect more than just one person, as for physics it can affect more than one object. Science continues to study the fight or flight response from both a behavioural and physiological point of view. Since both laws mirror one another they strengthen the validity.
The laws, even though they are very different aspects of life and with hundreds of years of discovery, are held with just as high esteem as how they are viewed in correlation between physics and human behaviour. Although human behaviour can not be measured the same way as physics, the laws aim to provide an idea for how human beings behave. Since human behaviour has been more investigated and ways to improve is being applied to everyday lives, these behavioural laws can create a blueprint for how we should react and behave when life’s situations occur.
Ultimately, physics and behaviour can relate to one another. The action and reaction, whether it is in physics or human behaviour, do change and manipulate the results (or behaviour). Each of these laws are used in everyday life and affect each person, by connecting them it can change people’s ideas and views on human behaviour and create a better understanding. Therefore, behaviour is in fact subject to physical laws.