Stop looking at crazy humans like it's inside of them and look at their odd behavior as a mal-adaptation to their larger SYSTEM. This is SYSTEMS THEORY: the study of behavior-in-relation to the larger environment.

If you expand your view thusly you will find all behavior is explained--it will no longer be a riddle. Instead of asking "what's going on inside this person" you should ask: "how is this behavior ADAPTIVE to the environment they were in?"

Systems theory--looking at man-in-his-environment and seeing it all as a WHOLE maintaining the status quo of it's PARTS including pathology--is the basis of all the articles on this website.

Systems show three characteristics:

(1) nonsummativity, (2) wholeness and (3) equifinality



UCI MED SCHOOL Dept. Psychiatry and Human Behavior


NONSUMMATIVITY: The whole [character] of the system is larger than the SUM of its parts. The system is like a person who cannot be divided. Talk to person A, person B--they change with person C.

WHOLENESS. No part shows change without showing effects on all other parts. In sick systems, sobriety of the alcoholic may bring severe decompensation of the wife [tho' she complained for years]

EQUIFINALITY: seeking of homeostasis and maintenance of the status quo. In sick systems that means maintaining pathology. Pathology of one [identified patient] maintains the level of homeostasis.