An integrative approach to the study of human behavior*
by Zdenek Klein & Peter G. Fedor-Freybergh
see also related article: NEL Vol. 21 No. 6, 2000
The human behavior is a fundamental phenomenon in contemporary sciences in the widest sense of the word. The wide range of world problems such as wars, criminality, social depravation, famine, different catastrophes as Tjernobyl up to the pandemic AIDS, etc. are transferable into one common denominator: the failure of man in his behavior.
Adequate understanding of all behavioral mechanisms and their failures is condition sine qua non for the most important task—the prediction of actual behavior resulting from different bio-psycho-socio-cultural sources.
The authors express presumption about the essential importance of three basic postulates (I–III) in every kind of behavioral research:
Human life is an indivisible continuum from its very beginning (especially vulnerable) over adulthood (inclusive reproduction) until death. The prenatal stages of life are integral and very sensitive periods of human ontogenesis. Every discontinuity in this development can lead to physical, mental and social disfunctions in both prenatal and postnatal life.
Motivation is a basic inner drive generating the actual human behavior. All its five components should be taken into consideration:
1. Qualitative (the kind of motivational state: alimentary, sexual, territorial, etc.)
2. Quantitative (the intensity of motivational state, “arousal”)
3. Inner structure of each motivational state (into partial motivational states with specific sensitivity to external stimulation)
4. Synthetic (causal and functional aspects of actual motivation)
5. Hierarchy of motivational states (self-preservation of the individual is probably on the top of such a hypothetical hierarchical structure).
Both previous postulates demand the integrative approach to the study of human behavior and refers to three basic sources of behavior:
1. Function of the CNS
2. Function of the endocrine system
3. Variability of external conditions (including all kinds of behavioral stimulation).
See Fig.1See Fig 2.
*Poster accepted for the International Conference of Psychology ”Psychology After The Year 2000” at the University of Haifa, Israel, June 12–14, 2000