Search Post on this Blog

Write a notes on behavioural approach in geography | UP PCS Optional Geography Mains Paper 1 2019 |Geography optional notes

Write a note on the Behavioural approach in geography.
( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2019, 10 Marks) 
 भूगोल में व्यवहारगत उपागम पर टिप्पणी लिखिए।


  • Perspective on Human Geography
  • Positivism, Quantitative approaches
  • Wolpert's study
  • Kirk Study
  • Mental Map
  • Subjective Decision
  • Objective and Behaviour environment


The behavioral approach in geography is one type of perspective in human geography that was developed in the opposition to quantitative and positivism approaches.

As positivism and Quantitative approaches believed that:
  • human is an economic rationale people,
  • the objectification of human decision,
  • Use of Statistical technique
  • and non-relevance of human values, beliefs, and culture in human decision making.
But the above same is not depict the accuracy of geographical reality and is not able to explain the dynamic nature of human behavior and man and environment relationship. The behavioral approach of geography challenge the above view and considered human is not always an economic rational person. 

As per Wolpert's study on the Swedish former, optimal farm practices are not done by the Swedish former although having very fertile and productive agricultural land. They were satisfied with 60 % of productivity, they were not optimizers.

Indian Farmer also used excess fertile in order to short term gains that hampered long term productivity. So human is not economic person, they are only satisfiers.

Behaviouralism is also against the objectivity of human decisions. As each human is different from others in every aspect such as brain, knowledge, culture. So the decision of humans is subjective in nature. Human action can not be quantified or objectified for making a model.

The contribution of human values, culture, and religion can not be ignored. For example, temple visits and religious rituals are totally subjective decisions, they can not be quantified or judged from an economic rational perspective.
Behavioural Approach in geography
Behavioral Approach to geography

The following are the basic concept of the behaviouralism approach:
  • The human decision is subjective in nature. The human takes the decision based on the mental map. A mental map is generated for each human based on pre-knowledge, morality, ethics, culture, religion, time, situation, and economic needs.
  • Geography is an interdisciplinary subject. Geography= psychology+sociology+science.
  • Man and environment relations are dynamic in nature and it is interrelated.
  • The environment plays a dual role in human activities that is an objective and behavioral environment.
  • Objective environment, the environment provides the same perception to all humans. For example, earthquakes, tsunamis, landslides, rain, all the activities will be perceived the same by everyone.
  • Behavior environment; knowledge, values, culture, and requirements are different for different people. Hence the perception of some environmental activities varies from person to person.
  • As per geographer Kirk, the same piece of information in a similar environment would be different for different people with different socio and cultural backgrounds. For example, forest:
    • For tribal people, it is their livelihood.
    • For industrialists, it is raw material.
    • For outsiders, it can be seen as a tourism opportunity.
The behaviouralism approach is more theoretical than the positivism and quantitative approach of geography as theory and model can not be developed by the behaviouralism approach. However, the behaviouralism approach gives a more realistic study of the environment and human activities.

Try to solve the following questions

  • Discuss critically the manner in which the quantitative revolution provided the methodological foundation for models and modeling in geography. (UPSC 2018, 15 marks)
  • Trace the origin and progress of the Quantitative revolution in geography and bring out its merit and demerits (UPSC 2016, 15 marks)
  • Discuss the impact of the quantitative revolution on the scientific development of geography.  ( 63rd BPSC, 2019)
  • Critically compare quantitative and behavioral revolutions in geography and examine their role in the development of the subject.  ( 64th BPSC, 2019)
  • Write a note on the Behavioural approach in geography. ( UPPSC, UP PCS, 2019, 10 Marks) 
  • Write short notes.
    • Behavioral Geography (UPSC 2008, 10 marks)
  • Elaborate on the concept  of the mental map (UPSC 2014, 10 marks)
  • The emergence of behavioral geography was due to disillusionment with axioms, on which models were based, and axioms were far removed from reality? Comment (UPSC 1996,15 marks)
  • Describe the Salient features of behavioral geography. ( 66th BPSC)
  •  भूगोल में व्यवहारगत उपागम पर टिप्पणी लिखिए।

You may also want to read the following post:

    Next Post »