Behaviorism is a major field of psychology that has been pioneered by psychologists such as Skinner and Bandura. They were able to provide evidence for the debate of nature vs. nurture based on the experimentation. They stated that the environment had an impact on shaping an individual’s behavior. Skinner succeeded in producing a “superstition” among pigeons and Bandura was able to define phobia during his experiments with Little Albert. However, some people supposed that this was unethical. Due to the fact that environment and people can affect the way in which one develops and displays behavior, it is important for a psychologist to understand this influence.
Adjustment occurs when people are able to find equilibrium of the thoughts or behavior with themselves in relation to their surroundings including environment and society. Adjustment is also associated with stress because of the possible change when the person tries to interact with the surrounding. For example, the societal norms and constructs between high school and college are extremely different. Freshmen undergo an “adjustment period” where they observe how college works. Conformity and the change of the behavior of the person then occur. This brings them into equilibrium with their internal thoughts and behaviors with those that are expected of the societal environment.
In other cases, maladjustment can occur. Maladjustment is the adaptation noted. It takes place when adjustment fails to come to pass. However, the equilibrium is not reached which results in behavioral and emotional instability. This compatibility can also increase the stress level of a person adding to a physiological disorder. Again, some students experience this during their first year of college. In the first semester, some students have difficulty adjusting to the expectations of the college. This can range from poor academic performance to isolation as a person does not know a great number of people. Eventually, the maladjustment can lead to adjustment. However, further maladjustment can lead to increased neuroticism.
Darwin commented that in the course of evolution, adaptation was necessary in order to survive in nature. Sometimes adaptation could be wrong resulting in the extinction of species and sometimes it can lead to their proliferation. In the context of human behavior, behaviorism can be used to describe how persons view themselves in their social environment. Based on the compatibility of individual’s internal characteristics with that of the societal environment the extent to which adjustment or maladjustment occur can be determined.
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