12 Important Characteristics of Behavioural Approach to the Study of Politics

The Important Characteristics of Behavioural Approach to the Study of Politics are listed below:

1. Study of Human Political Behaviour:

Instead of political institutions, Behavioural Approach stands for the study of human behaviour in politics. It places emphasis upon the study of both individual as well as group behaviour in politics.

2. Empirical Methods:

Behavioural approach advocates the use of empirical methods of study involving data collection through field methods, and analysis of data using statistical and mathematical measurement techniques. It advocates a study of facts of political life.

3. Interdisciplinary Focus:

It advocates the study of politics with the help of knowledge drawn from other social sciences, particularly sociology, psychology and anthropology. It even accepts the need to use concepts drawn from natural sciences.

4. Scientific Theory of Politics:

Behavioural Approach rejects the traditional approach and theory of politics. It accepts and advocates the need for building a scientific theory of politics. Political Theory should be as much scientific and precise as are the natural sciences.

5. Regularities:

Behavioural Approach holds that there are discoverable uniformities in human political behaviour. These can be expressed in generalizations or theories with explanatory and predictive values.

6. Verification:

The validity of such generalizations has to be testable with reference to relevant behaviour. Only empirically tested and verified generalisations about politics are to be admitted as valid.

7. Techniques:

Means for acquiring and interpreting data cannot be taken for granted. Several different techniques can be found or formulated for observing, recording and analyzing behaviour. It stands for adoption of appropriate tools of data collection and analysis.

8. Quantification:

Precision in the recording of data and the statement of findings require measurement and quantification, not for their own sake, but only where possible, relevant and meaningful in the light of other objectives. Use of mathematical and statistical methods of data analysis has to be made.

9. Value-free Study or Value Neutrality:

“Ethical evaluation and empirical explanation involve two different propositions. For the sake of clarity, these should be kept analytically distinct. Study of Politics has to be empirical and value-free. Values have to be kept out of empirical study of facts.

10. Systematization:

Research ought to be systematic. It means that, theory and research are to be seen as closely inter-twined parts of a coherent and orderly body of knowledge. Conscious efforts have to be made for building a scientific theory of Politics.

11. Pure Science:

The application of knowledge is as much a part of the scientific enterprise as theoretical understanding. But the understanding and explanation of political behaviour logically precede and provide the basis for efforts to utilize political knowledge in the solution of urgent practical problems of society. It admits and advocates a link between theoretical understanding and practical application of knowledge.

12. Integration:

Because the social sciences deal with the whole human situation, the political research cannot ignore the findings of the other disciplines.

Recognition of inter­relationship between Political Science and other social sciences can provide immense help to bring political science back to its status of earlier centuries and ensure its return to the main fold of the social sciences. In other words, Behaviouralism accepts interdisciplinary focus.