The Concept of LIFESTYLE Explained
LIFESTYLE defines the basic elements of human life as: human behaviors, attitudes, interests, orientations, and behavioral patterns. The word was first introduced by Austrian psychiatrist Alfred Adler in his influential article, The Case of Miss R. with the implied meaning of “the basic nature of a person as revealed early in life”. In this book, he suggested that human beings have five basic attitudes toward the world around them which are Dominance, Influence, Steadiness, Fidelity, and adaptability. According to Adler, these attitudes are rooted in the needs of the group or society which they belong to. These need may vary from one group or society to another.
Adler further classified the elements of LIFESTYLE into three main categories: the classical, progressive, and psychotic. He believed that there were four components of LIFESTYLE which included; the individual attitude of the human being, the influence of the environment, and the direction and role of the individual. Based on the work of Carl Jung, each of the three components was then further divided into four: the instinctive, the parental, the cognitive, and the super-ego. According to Adler, all these elements can be individually examined in order to arrive at the psychological structure of LIFESTYLE.
Today, the word LIFESTYLE is often used in a much broader context which includes individual psychology, corporate behavior, marketing strategy, social media, business culture, and even politics. This word however still has its origin in the study of human behavior and individual psychology. LIFESTYLE can thus be considered as the first word in the acronym L.A.F.T.R.E.C., which stands for: light, effective, efficient, relevant, fun, happy, focused, true, and supportive. When combined with other words such as L.A.F.T.R.E.C., L.A.F.T.R.I.E., and L.A.F.T.R.O., the term LIFESTYLE can be taken to mean: light, relevant, effective, fun, and happy.
In the past, LIFESTYLE was used to distinguish between various definitions of a healthy lifestyle. In order for LIFESTYLE to have a clear definition, the word lifestyle had to be specified. One example of this would be “living a healthy lifestyle.” In this instance, “healthy” refers to any type of lifestyle which is focused on living in an environmentally responsible way, one in which one’s activities promotes environmental health, human well-being, security, and personal growth.
In addition, in the field of advertising psychology, the term LIFESTYLE was used in conjunction with another popular advertising term, the MASTERS HOORAY, which described the different life-styles that people could adopt in order to become more successful in their lives. As mass culture has developed more complex social structures with a greater complexity of groups and individuals, the idea of individualism has become a part of our culture industry. This definition includes the idea that there are specific life-styles that individuals can adopt in order to achieve success in certain areas. The mass culture, adhered to by mass media such as television, has also imposed certain types of lifestyles upon their consumers, which includes the use of LIFESTYLE and the representation of life-styles by popular culture icons such as Yogi Bear, Batman, Superman, and the like.
In this way, a distinction was created between LIFESTYLE and the concept of individualism. The term individualism was rejected because it limited the human experience to only a few available life-styles. The idea of individualism was then adopted by the expressionist art movement in the late 19th century. The expressionists created works such as paintings and prints that showed aspects of their lifestyle, including their leisure time, their relationships, their careers, and other aspects of their life that helped define them as an individual. By portraying a lifestyle depiction through their art, the expressionist artists hoped to encourage the audience to view these as valid forms of human life.