Behavioural Sciences - A must to have course in Indian Universities
Behavioural sciences was a part of the social sciences discipline in the mid 1950’s after which subjects like psychology, anthropology and sociology drifted away and were brought in proximity to the sciences as they too studied the effects of diverse factors including physiology on human behaviour. The study of behavioural sciences is a relatively newer field of scientific study in terms of acceptability and reported cases. It is far more complex than natural sciences due to diverse factors operating from within a person and the environment to effect the behavioural outcome. Though, psychological health issues have been addressed for decades, psychological intervention has gained popularity with increase in lifestyle diseases, greater awareness of the effect of mental well being on happy living and maturity to understand the extreme necessity of intervention beyond health treatments.
Behavioural Sciences tries to comprehend not only the human experiences, but also individual and social contrasts. Behavioural Sciences with the help of experiential learning draws different strategies for enquiry, both quantitative and qualitative to decipher human behaviour. Psychology is a scientific study of mental processes and behaviour and the functioning of individual in the society. This feature of psychology effectively links it to all fields of study and thereby increases its relevance in interdisciplinary studies.
It concerns to study perception, attitude formation, motivation, emotions and cognitive processes like memory, learning, thinking and intelligence and their domino effect on behaviour. The influence of all these psychological processes on our behavioural outcome can be seen in our everyday functioning. Recognition and changing the behaviour can be easily felicitated through understanding Psychology.
Strong relevance of stress coping mechanisms to disentangle major health problems such as obesity, drug, alcohol, tobacco abuse and propensity for violent behaviour and crime cannot be belittled. The one end of the spectrum has its focus on interpersonal, group, and societal behaviour and on the other end importance of self and personality as key factors that underlie the complex health problems besetting our society.
Inspiring the employees by adding excitement or interest, orienting individual towards goal attainment and implicating a drive towards an action requires motivational techniques ranging from external motivators such as salary raise and back-pat to intrinsic motivators such as instilling enthusiasm through inspiring talks and team involvements. Just as the progress of an organization depends on an efficient manager, so does the performance of the employees to a large extent depends on the managerial style - which in turn rests upon the attitude of a manager. Better the managerial style, more efficient will be the performance of the employees. Positive attitude provides positive results not only to the work place but interpersonal and intrapersonal relationships too. Familial happiness has direct linage to the self-esteem and self-identity. Positive attitude towards self and things around improves the value of existence.
Attitude towards things depends on our perceptual biases, prejudice and stereotypes acquired through the entire learning process during our living. The real situation may be different from the perceived one and that which is perceived may involve inaccurate information. Hence, developing perceptual abilities in order to establish positive thinking that may be proven advantageous in the attainment of goals is important. Attitude towards religious group or community, specific gender and color impacts our behaviour in positive or a negative manner. Negative behaviour attracts the same from the other group and strains the relationship. Techniques to understand the perceptual bias and its influence on attitude formation and in turn its effects on ones behaviour and future goal orientation can easily be guided through structural analysis to the factors that govern it through study of Psychology. For e.g., before addressing how to change attitudes and behaviours around AIDS or homosexuality, one needs to know how attitudes develop and change.
Similarly, before convicting any person, one needs to know in-depth case study .
Before addressing memory decline in the elderly, one must know the basics of learning and memory and how that changes with age.
Before guiding the students towards career options, one must know their aptitude and interest in various fields.
Before changing the violent and imbalance emotional adolescent, one must understand the factors that led to its acquisition.
Before the treatment of an autistic or dyslexic, one needs to convince parents of its existence and pull them out of denial mode.
Before improving the relationship between two adults, one must know the extent of disparity in thoughts between them.
Likewise,at every step in life , the decision making and problem solving techniques too influence the path setting. How we think, how we behave, how we react to situations, and how we perform are all associated with psychology.
Though, a late realization but the acceptance of mind governing the body is catching up quite rapidly with the world and hence quick changes in the education system will enable correct path defining and bringing revolution in the society. From revamping the education system to sync it with understanding behaviour to penetrating amongst people the relevance of happiness as a mandate to successful living is the correct way forward change and progress of the society.
Hence, Paramountcy of Behavioural Science cannot be scorned but the only course is to advance.
Dr. Kulpreet Kaur, Assistant Professor-JIBS & Prof.(Dr.) Sanjeev P Sahni, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences(JIBS)