Psychology Observational Analysis

05 Apr 2018

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The analysis of an individual's behaviour bridges an in-depth understanding of his character and when there is an adequate knowledge about psychology. This paper discusses a behaviour analysis of the person in a coffee shop through bio-psychosocial approach. Based on observation, his age is around 30 to 40 years old. He is busy with his laptop while smoking. He looks restless and stressed. This man has one knapsack and a paper bag with him. His smoking is noticeable as he consumes one stick of cigarette per hour. He also transferred to the other side of alfresco tables as the surroundings become noisy. There are three assumptions discussed on this paper namely; Ultradian Rhythms, impact of stress and noise pollution.

Ultradian Rhythm

As observed on the man in the coffee shop, he smokes every hour. The study of psychology suggests Ultradian Rhythms as the reason for this time pattern of smoking common to working people. The man in the coffee shop could be experiencing this during that time. Ultradian Rhythms work through clock-like regulators that normalize the activities inside the body. These regulators are found in the oesophagus, heart, pancreas, lungs, and brains. These are normal body phases that take place in a day for every 90-120 minutes. Within this period, the brains and body sends clues indicating the need for having a break and change in physical and psychological activity (Rossi & Lloyd, 2008, p.195). The man in the coffee shop is possibly experiencing this Ultradian Rhythm in his smoking habit. Although smoking does not enhance one’s well-being, smokers use the limited time during short breaks to smoke as it is their best way to maximize the time. Some people use their short breaks for taking a nap or drinking coffee. When smoking, the signals are often obvious with the physical movements of a person. The man in the coffee shop shows these movements such as stretching, resting his back on the wall, yawning, physical discomfort and frequent urination. When these actions are noticeable on him, he would light a cigarette and smoke. These actions are usually not recognized by people resulting to neglect. On the other hand, ignoring these signals causes a person to resort to artificial stimulants such as alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine (Cain, 2006, p.6). Similar to the man in the coffee shop, smoking is his way to cope with the signals. Moreover, disregarding these signals may also cause fatigue, anxiety, and physical and mental illness. Hence, his actions before and while he smokes are signals indicating a need for rest or change in activity.


Another assumption with regards to his smoking addiction is of course, his obvious stress. Stress can cause headaches or poor health and it makes people feel short-tempered, worried or low. As observed at the subject, he looks stressful and restless and these trigger his smoking habits. People who experience a lot of stress find relaxation when smoking a cigarette. This ineffective dealing with stress has many harmful effects to a body. On the other hand, people do not only smoke to reduce stress. Some people experience stress when they start to quit smoking. Hence, it is difficult for people to quit smoking since its effects are stressful too.

There is no scientific study that proves the 100% effectiveness of nicotine to lessen the stress. However, according to University of Southern Florida (2000), brain releases neurotransmitters when a person is smoking a cigarette. Other chemicals such as beta-endorphin and epinephrine can give a better feeling to a person within a limited time. Hence, nicotine can somehow improve a person’s mood within a short time and lessen the feeling of stress. On the other hand, smokers often perceive smoking a cigarette as a “break” from thinking too much of a task and handling stress (Azagba & Sharaf, 2011, p.2). This sensation is short-term and rapidly directs to withdrawal symptoms and more cravings. Hence, smoking can divert a person’s attention from his troubles into something less stressful thoughts. The man in the coffee shop is simply stressed as obvious to his physical appearance and he finds relaxation when smoking.

Noise Pollution

There are also other observations on the man in the coffee shop. Another thing about the man is his loss of concentration when being disturbed. His facial expressions show his deep annoyance. Given that he sits in the middle of alfresco tables, he transferred to the other side of the coffee shop as the surroundings are becoming noisy. This behaviour is common to people especially those that need a high level of concentration to do a specific task. How does noise affect one’s concentration? Noise pollution is not a physical contaminant but it is present in form of sound waves. It messes with naturally occurring waves within an environment. It is usually present in public places especially in transportation sites such as road, airport, pier and train stations. It affects a person’s hearing and cardiovascular health. In addition, it may also affect one’s potency and can increase the risk of social conflict. According to Daniel Vastfjall’s study on noise sensitivity (2002), a person who is experiencing a bad day is more likely to experience irritation more than those who are not. Based on this research, people who are insensitive to noise and not in a good mood are less likely to respond with annoyance (Missouri Western State University, 2006, para.7). If the noise results to interference of an activity, noise is more expected to irritate a person. Hence, if a person is in bad mood and the surroundings are noisy, he or she is more likely to respond with anger, annoyance and displeasure. The man in the coffee shop manifests such negative response given his unhelpful mood combined with the noisy surrounding. Moreover, the noise influences his health directly through annoyance.

The overall behaviour of the man in the coffee shop is a result of his daily routine and natural response to the surroundings. During the interval of one hour, he is not informed that he needs a break and thus, he smokes a cigarette to relax himself from work. On the other hand, his stress probably accumulates on him day by day. Lastly, his mood for the day as well the surroundings trigger him to get annoyed and to stay away from the noisy crowd. The bio-psychosocial analysis on the man in the coffee shop helped with his overall behaviour’s assessment. To sum up everything, stress, noise and daily routine are the triggers of the man’s negative behaviour and actions. He copes with stress ineffectively by smoking and his annoyance in noisy surroundings is a result of his sensitivity to noise.


Azagba,S., & Sharaf,M. (2011). The effect of job stress on smoking and alcohol consumption.Springer Open Journal,1(15), 1-14. Retrieved from>

Cain,A. (2006).The Psychology of Smoking(01273 732690). Retrieved from US DHHS website:>

Missouri Western State University (2006, August 5).Does Noise Sensitivity Affect A Reader`S Concentration?RetrievedFebruary14, 2014, from>

Rossi,E., & Lloyd,D. (2008).Ultradian Rhythms from Molecules to Mind: A New Vision of Life. OH, USA: Springer.

University of South Florida (2000).A Guide To Remaining Smoke Free. RetrievedFebruary14, 2014, from>

Vastfjall,D. (2002). Influences of current mood and noise sensitivity on judgments of noise annoyance.The Journal of Psychology. Retrieved from>

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