PTE Essay (IELTS Task 2): Who Determines Behavior – Law or Society

Law and behavior IELTS PTE

Some people think that law determines the behavior of the people. Others believe that society is more important than the law in building good behavior. Give your opinion with relevant examples.

PTE: 20 minutes, 200 to 300 words.

IELTS: 40 minutes, 250 words at least.


Introduction: (Introduce the topic and give your OPINION while MENTIONING the reasons. These reasons will be explained in the body paragraphs.)

While some believe that appropriate human behavior is a product of the law of the land, others opine that it is a consequence of societal norms. I think it is influenced by both forces. Though law shapes behavior by imposing punishment and financial penalties, society determines behavior through morals, ethics, and culture.

Body Paragraph 1: (Reason 1 – LAW – with example 1)

Human behavior is influenced by the psychological principle of punishment and rewards, and the law plays a central role in implementing this idea. Saudi Arabia, for instance, follows the rule of “eye for an eye”. Consequently, the crime rate in that country is extremely low due to the presence of a powerful deterrent. Similarly, driving behavior such as speed limit, use of seat belts and stopping the vehicle at red light depends upon the law of the land. The fear of punishment forces individuals to follow the rule of law.

Body Paragraph 2: (Reason 2 – SOCIETY – with example 2)

Societal values play an equally important role in determining behavior. Cultural values in India, such as love for animals and plants, has deeply impacted people’s attitude towards nature. While the culture of individualism in western countries drives people to live alone, the values of the joint family bring people closer in the eastern countries. Social norms such as fashion and language play an important role in shaping people’s behavior.

Moreover, cultural norms of hard work and chasing the American dream have shaped the normal American behavior of working from morning untill night. Africans, on the other hand, follow the traditional culture of working during the day and resting at night.

Conclusion: (Conclude + future and/ or impact)

Thus, while there are numerous factors that shape the behavior of humans, both the fear of law and societal values play a significant role. To make a society more prosperous and safe, the governments and all institutions should use these forces. 

294 words.

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1 reply »

  1. Human behaviour has been a subject of discussion from time immemorial. While some believe that the environment is the determining factor, others think otherwise. In my opinion, the society is the main factor that affects and moulds an individual’s behavoiur because it is the first contact an individual makes while growing up and it is also, many people are ignorant of the laws governing the society.
    Attitudes are characterized by the kind of people one associates with. For instance, if a child is born in the midst of criminals, the child will no doubt become a criminal. A recent study on human behaviour shows that the more a good character associates with bad characters, the good character will easily be influenced by the bad characters.
    Also, because of the level of literacy in certain parts of the world, some people tend to be ignorant of what the law requires. For example, growing up in a remote village, i was not exposed to the laws governing the city and this affected me so much on my arrival to the city.
    To conclude, though law has some level of impact on ones attitude, the society is the main factor that shapes the behaviour of a person.


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