Beyond Behavior: Construction of an Overarching Psychological Theory of Lifestyles

Beyond Behavior: Construction of an Overarching Psychological Theory of Lifestyles

Beyond Behavior: Construction of an Overarching Psychological Theory of Lifestyles

Beyond Behavior: Construction of an Overarching Psychological Theory of Lifestyles

Synopsis

Walters outlines an overarching theory in which the proper focus of psychological study is how a person interacts with the environment. Confronted with the threats posed by a continuously changing environment, the person can either adapt to a change or enact patterned interactions known as lifestyles, the structure and function of which are examined in detail.

Excerpt

I have experienced more difficulty in deciding on a title for this book than was the case for my eight previous books combined. This can be attributed to the fact that I was searching for a title that embodied all four objectives I had in mind when I set out to write this book. After much consternation, vacillation, and equivocation I decided on the title Beyond Behavior: Construction of an Overarching Psychological Theory of Lifestyles in the belief that it did a better job of furnishing the book with direction than any of the alternatives I had considered. This book, as the title suggests, touches on four fundamental issues central to both psychology and lifestyle theory: the proper subject matter for psychological study, the use of lifestyles to ward off fear and anxiety, the view that reality is a subjective rather than objective, phenomenon, and the demand for a general overarching theory of psychology.

Beyond Behavior implies that traditional definitions of psychology in which psychology is construed as the study of behavior are not supported by the theory presented in this book. the current approach abandons the traditional focus on behavior in favor of a definition that emphasizes the interactions that take place between the person and his or her environment and between various subsystems within the individual. These, according to the present perspective, are the proper subject matter for study in psychology. This frees researchers and clinicians from exclusive reliance on the organism as the primary topic of study in psychology . . .

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