I do not believe it is possible to study behavior and mind independently. These are two sources that make up the human soul that coexist and contribute to one another. It is not possible to separate the two as if they exist independently. The brain is made up of billions of cells that exist and work together to control not only our thoughts, but also our behaviors, and how our body functions. The brain controls the entire body’s movement and function. Additionally, the brain controls our behaviors, as scientists have found that certain areas of the brain contribute to certain attributes of our personalities (Myers & Jeeves). As in the famous case of Phineas Gage, our frontal lobe controls impulse and social behavior. This serves as an example of how the network of cells within the brain directly act on our behavior. This network exists as part of the mind as these same cells within the brain control our personal thoughts.
The mind and body coexist as a human being. “The human part of you and me is not a ghost in a body but rather the whole unified system of brain and mind” (Myers & Jeeves). We cannot reduce the two parts to exist independently. As previously stated, it is our mind that controls our body and our behaviors are sourced within our thoughts. It is my understanding that if the two were to exist independently, they would also function independently. I believe this would be similar to the case of an individual suffering from schizophrenia. As in R.D. Lang’s work, The Divided Self, if the thoughts and actions of an individual do not coincide, the individual has become detached. “This detachment of the self means that the self is never revealed directly in the individual’s expression and actions” (Lang). This is what comes to my mind when I hear of experts trying to study the mind and behavior independently of one another. I think if the two are said to be detached, then the persona as a whole is detached from reality, as we need both to accurately function and experience life.
Laing, R. (1965). The divided self: An existential study in sanity and madness (p. 80).
Harmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books.
Myers, D., & Jeeves, M. (2003). Psychology through the eyes of faith (pp. 19-25). Washington,
D.C.: Council for Christian Colleges & Universities.