Behavioral System Model by Dorothy Johnson

Behavioral System Model by Drothy JohnsonDorothy Johnson believes that each individual has a focusing and repeating ways of acting which covers a behavioral system distinct to that individual. These actions or behaviors form outstanding thoughts- out and included functional unit that determines and defines the relations between the person and his environment and establishes the bond of the person to the object,events, and circumstances in his environment. These behaviors are logical, fixed, predicatable and adequately secure and persistent to be satisfying to depiction and clarification.

Johnsons identifies seven subsystems within the Behavioral System Model. These subsystems were originally in Johnson’s 1968 paper presented at Vanderbilt University. The seven subsystems are considered to be interrelated, thus changes in one subsystem affect all the subsystem.


Seven Behavioral Subsystems

  • The Attachment or Affiliative Subsystem is well-known as the earliest response system to expand in the individual. The most favorable functioning of the affiliative subsystem allows social inclusion, closeness, and the pattern and continuance of a strong public bond. Attachment to a noteworthy caregiver has been found to be important for the survival of an infant.
  • The Dependency Subsystem is distinguished from the attachment or affiliative subsystem. Dependency behaviors are actions that trigger nurturing behaviors from other individuals in the environment. The product of dependency behavior is consent, interest or appreciation, and physical support.
  • The Ingestive Subsystem relates to the behaviors surrounding the ingestion of food. It is associated to the biological system. The perspective is in the significance and arrangement of the social events surrounding the occasions when food is eaten. Behaviors related to the ingestion of food may relate more to what is socially satisfactory in a specified culture, than to the biological necessities of the human being.
  • The Eliminative Subsystem relate to behaviors surrounding the secretion of waste products from the body. Johnson concludes this may be tricky to seperate from a biological system perspective. However, as with behaviors surrounding the ingestion of food, there are socially adequate behaviors for the time and place for humans to excrete waste. Human cultures have defined different socially acceptable behaviors for excretion of waste, but the constinuation of such an outline remains from culture to culture.
  • The Sexual Subsystem imitates behaviors related to procreation or reproduction. Both biological and social factors are involved behaviors in the sexual subsystem  . Again, the behaviors are related to culture and vary from culture to culture. Behaviors also vary according to the gender of the individual. The key is that the goal in the all societies has the same outcome-behaviors suitable to the society at large.
  • The Aggressive Subsystem relates to behaviors concerned with defense and self-presentation. Johnson sees the aggressive subsystem as one that creates defensive responses from the individual when life or territory is threatened. The aggressive subsystem does not include those behaviors with a primary purpose of injuring other individuals, but rather those whose purpose is to protect and conserve self and society.
  • The Achievement Subsystem contains behaviors that attempt to control the environment. Intellectual, physical, imaginative, mechanical, and communal skills are some of the areas that Johnson distinguishes. Other areas of personal accomplishment or success may also be integrated in this subsystem.

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Behavioral System Model by Dorothy Johnson