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Adaptation

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Helson’s (1947) adaptation-level theory in psychology discusses human responses to focal, contextual, and organic stimuli and the way humans adapt to their environment. In tourist-host encounters, adaptation theory describes the process in which individuals establish and maintain relatively stable, reciprocal, and functional relationships with unfamiliar cultural environments, possibly leading to personal transformation (Kim 2001). Long-stay tourists may even become acculturated. Berry’s (1997) bidimensional acculturation theory describes the process of psychological acculturation in which people engage in interacting with and adopting parts of the host culture on one hand and preserving their home culture on the other. These theories explain how humans make adjustments in new settings. Responses to external stimuli are affected by prior experiences and frames of reference, leading to possible attitude and behavioral modification.

When applied in tourism, the stimuli are presented by...

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-01384-8_495
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References

  • Berry, J. 1997 Immigration, Acculturation and Adaptation. Applied Psychology: An International Review 46:5-68.

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  • Butler, R. 1980 The Concept of a Tourist Area Cycle of Evolution. Canadian Geographer 24:5-12.

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  • Cohen, E. 1972 Toward a Sociology of International Tourism. Social Research 39:164-182.

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  • Helson, H. 1947 Adaptation-Level as a Frame of Reference for Predication of Psychophysical Data. American Journal of Psychology 60:1-29.

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  • Kim, Y. 2001 Becoming Intercultural: Integrative Theory of Communication and Crosscultural Adaptation. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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Correspondence to Fanny Vong .

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Vong, F. (2016). Adaptation. In: Jafari, J., Xiao, H. (eds) Encyclopedia of Tourism. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-01384-8_495

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