Inappropriate Behaviors

Inappropriate behaviors follow from self-defeating techniques of counteracting social control or from unsuccessful attempts at self-control, especially when either of these failures is accompanied by strong emotion. Like most behaviors, mappropriate or unhealthy responses are learned. They are shaped by positive and negative reinforcement and especially by the effects of punishment.

Inappropriate behaviors include excessively vigorous behavior, which makes no sense in terms of the contemporary situation, but might be reasonable hi terms of past history; and excessively restrained behavior, which people use as a means of avoiding the aversive stimuli associated with punishment. Another type of inappropriate behavior is blocking out reality by shnply payhig no attention to aversive stimuli.

A fourth form of undesirable behavior results from defective self-knowledge and is manifested in such self-deluding responses as boasting, rationalizing, or claiming to be the Messiah. This pattern of behavior is negatively reinforcing be cause the person avoids the aversive stimulation associated with thoughts of inadequacy.

Another hiappropriate behavior pattern is self-punishment, exemplified either by people directly punishing themselves or by arranging environmental variables so that they are punished by others.

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