Respondent behavior is a behavioral process (or behavior) that happens in response to some stimuli, and is essential to an organism’s survival. This behavior is characterized by involuntary action. For example, the pupil starts to flicker when exposed to direct sunlight. If the pupil does not flicker, the eye will be more exposed to sun rays, which may lead to blindness.
Functions of respondent behavior include protecting the body against harmful stimuli, regulating the internal balance and economy of the organism, and promoting reproduction. Other examples of human respondent behaviors are sexual arousal and sweating while running.