Behavior Identification Form

Behavior Identification Form

Pelileo Any behavior can be described in many ways. For example, one person might describe a behavior as “writing a paper,” while another person might describe the same behavior as “pushing keys on the keyboard.” Yet another person might describe it as “expressing thoughts.” This form focuses on your personal preferences for how a number of different behaviors should be described. Below you will find several behaviors listed. After each behavior will be two different ways in which the behavior might be identified.

For example: Attending class

  • sitting in a chair
  • looking at a teacher

Your task is to choose the identification, a or b, that best describes the behavior for you. Simply place a checkmark next to the option you prefer. Be sure to respond to every item. Please mark only one alternative for each pair. Remember, mark the description that you personally believe is more appropriate for each pair.

Making a list

  • Getting organized*
  • Writing things down


  • Following lines of print
  • Gaining knowledge*

Joining the Army

  • Helping the Nation’s defence*
  • Signing up

Washing clothes

  • Removing odors from clothes*
  • Putting clothes into the machine

Picking an apple

  • Getting something to eat*
  • Pulling an apple off a branch

Chopping down a tree

  • Wielding an axe
  • Getting firewood*

Measuring a room for carpeting

  • Getting ready to remodel*
  • Using a yard stick

Cleaning the house

  • Showing one’s cleanliness*
  • Vacuuming the floor

Painting a room

  • Applying brush strokes
  • Making the room look fresh*

Paying the rent

  • Maintaining a place to live*
  • Writing a check

Caring for houseplants

  • Watering plants
  • Making the room look nice*

Locking a door

  • Putting a key in the lock
  • Securing the house*


  • Influencing the election*
  • Marking a ballot

Climbing a tree

  • Getting a good view*
  • Holding on to branches

Filling out a personality test

  • Answering questions
  • Revealing what you’re like*


  • Preventing tooth decay*
  • Moving a brush around in one’s mouth

Taking a test

  • Answering questions
  • Showing one’s knowledge*

Greeting someone

  • Saying hello
  • Showing friendliness*

Resisting temptation

  • Saying “no”
  • Showing moral courage*


  • Getting nutrition*
  • Chewing and swallowing

Growing a garden

  • Planting seeds
  • Getting fresh vegetables*

Traveling by car

  • Following a map
  • Seeing countryside*

Having a cavity filled

  • Protecting your teeth*
  • Going to the dentist

Talking to a child

  • Teaching a child something*
  • Using simple words

Pushing a doorbell

  • Moving a finger
  • Seeing if someone’s home*


Items marked with a * are higher-level alternatives. Total score is the sum of higher level alternative choices.

Reference Information

I continuously update this database. Please contact me to suggest references I might have missed, or suggest an edit to an existing reference.

APA-Format Citation

Vallacher, R. R., & Wegner, D. M. (1989). Levels of personal agency: Individual variation in action identification. Journal of Personality and Social psychology, 57(4), 660-671.

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