Eccentricity (behavior)

Eccentricity (Behavior)

Eccentricity (behavior)

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Description:
In popular usage, eccentricity refers to unusual or odd behavior on the part of an individual. This behavior would typically be perceived as unusual or unnecessary, without being demonstrably maladaptive. Eccentricity is contrasted with "normal" behavior, the nearly universal means by which individuals in society solve given problems and pursue certain priorities in everyday life. People who consistently display benignly eccentric behavior are labeled as "eccentrics".

Etymology

From Medieval Latin eccentricus, derived from Greek ekkentros, "out of the center", from ek-, ex- "out of" + kentron, "center". Eccentric first appeared in English in 1551 as an astronomical term meaning "a circle in which the earth, sun, etc. deviates from its center." Five years later, in 1556, an adjective form of the word was added. 129 years later, in 1685, the definition evolved from the literal to the figurative, and eccentric began being used to describe unconventional or odd behavior. A noun form of the word – a person who possesses and exhibits these unconventional or odd qualities/behaviors – didn't appear until 1832.

Depictions of eccentricity

Eccentricity is often associated with genius, intellectual giftedness, or creativity. The individual's eccentric behavior is perceived to be the outward expression of their unique intelligence or creative impulse. In this vein, the eccentric's habits are...
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