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Character vs. Behavior: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Published on January 13, 2024
Character is a person's moral and mental qualities, while behavior is the way they act or respond in various situations.

Key Differences

Character represents the inherent qualities and moral values of a person, like integrity and kindness. Behavior, however, is the outward manifestation of these qualities through actions and reactions in various situations.
Character is generally stable and enduring, reflecting deep-rooted attributes. Behavior can be more variable, changing based on context, environment, or immediate influences.
Character is an internal construct, often inferred from consistent patterns of behavior over time. In contrast, behavior is directly observable and measurable, evident in specific actions or responses.
Character is shaped over a lifetime, influenced by upbringing, experiences, and personal choices. Behavior can be influenced by immediate circumstances, external pressures, and can also be a deliberate choice.
Character is assessed through the lens of ethical and moral standards, while behavior is judged based on social norms, appropriateness, and impact on others.

Comparison Chart

Word Origin

From Greek 'kharaktēr'
From Old French 'comportement'

Word Length

8 characters
8 characters


3 syllables
3 syllables

Use in Sentences

Often used as a noun
Predominantly used as a noun


Pronounced as 'kar-ak-ter'
Pronounced as 'be-hayv-yor'

Part of Speech

Noun (Attribute)
Noun (Action)

Character and Behavior Definitions


A person in a novel, play, or movie.
The main character in the story faces many challenges.


A reaction to a specific situation or stimulus.
The child's behavior changes in different environments.


A set of ethical and moral traits.
Her character is defined by her honesty and compassion.


Actions in relation to others.
Their behavior at social events is always courteous.


Distinctive qualities forming an individual's nature.
His sense of humor is a key part of his character.


The way one acts, especially towards others.
His behavior in the meeting was very professional.


The collective opinion about a person's moral nature.
She has a character for being extremely reliable.


A habitual action or way of behaving.
Her behavior of speaking softly is quite noticeable.


A symbol or letter.
Each character in this code has a specific meaning.


Observable actions in various circumstances.
Studying behavior helps understand psychological patterns.


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


The manner in which one acts or behaves.


The distinguishing nature of something.


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


How is behavior defined?

Observable actions and reactions of a person in various situations.

How is character built?

Through experiences, upbringing, values, and personal choices over time.

Can character change?

It's relatively stable but can evolve with significant life experiences and efforts.

What is character?

A combination of traits and qualities defining a person's moral and ethical nature.

What influences behavior?

Immediate circumstances, environment, societal norms, and internal states.

Is behavior constant?

Behavior can vary depending on the context and environment.

Is character important in relationships?

Absolutely, as it determines trustworthiness and compatibility.

Can someone's character be accurately judged by a single action?

Not usually, as character is better assessed over a pattern of actions.

Can behavior be controlled?

Yes, through self-awareness, training, and sometimes psychological intervention.

What role does character play in leadership?

A crucial one, as it affects decision-making, trustworthiness, and influence.

Can behavior be a sign of underlying issues?

Yes, sometimes behavior changes can indicate psychological or emotional problems.

Are character and personality the same?

Not exactly; personality is the combination of characteristics or qualities, while character is specifically about moral and ethical traits.

Is character innate or learned?

A mix of both, with some traits innate and others developed through life.

Can behavior reflect a person's character?

Often, but not always, as behavior can be influenced by many external factors.

How does behavior affect social interactions?

Significantly, as it dictates how a person is perceived and treated by others.

How is behavior assessed?

Through observation of actions in various situations and contexts.

Can negative behavior be unlearned?

Yes, through behavioral therapy, self-reflection, and sometimes professional help.

What impact does behavior have on personal growth?

It can either facilitate or hinder personal development, depending on its nature.

Does character influence professional success?

Yes, strong character traits like integrity and reliability often contribute to success.

How does one develop a strong character?

Through self-reflection, learning from experiences, and adhering to personal values.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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