No, human beings cannot change the way they are. But a single, individual human being can change him/herself. First that individual must pinpoint what it is that is causing problems and then that individual must want to change very badly.
According to www.doc.state.ok.us, the recidivism rate among younger people is higher than for older. That rate being, 43.5%. Almost 50% of younger offenders will offend again.
Why? Some of it is no doubt stigma, ignorance and of course having no awareness of their value within the human ecological system. Or perhaps, they perceive that their value is within prison walls. And it could be. I say this in the most rational sense and most non-judgementally.
Changing human beings, for some is a continued fascination. However, I think that after the 50 years that psychiatry has just had, changing people has become less of a novelty and more of a chance to medicate and vacate. According to medicalnewstoday.com Robert DeRubeis, professor and chair of Penn's Department of Psychology, reports that cognitive therapy may even equip patients with more lasting effects because it teaches them how to cope with future stresses. However, I think there has been a trend to ignore the facts.
But the fact remains that human beings cannot change the way that they are. They are hostile, violent, hateful, lying, abusive and manipulative creatures with delusions of grandeur and egos and ulterior motives. They feign goodness like angels and project plans like the devil himself. It used to be that most of the trouble stemmed from the male population and that has changed tremendously. People are prone to err. Point blank, they are a lot of trouble.
Again, I do believe that individual's can change and they do change. I believe that sometimes, people simply wake up. They wake up to the game and simply quit pawning themselves off in the ante.
They can change with help or without it. I've watched it happen both ways.
Of course with Pavlov and his dogs came the concept of Behavior therapy. Or conditioning. Strange experimentations in the field of psychology, if they've proven nothing else, have proven the pathetic state of man and just how crudely pathetic he really is.
No, the human beings cannot change the way they are. They are a mass of trouble. But there are times, when one of them gets off to himself (or herself), and reflects in the psyche mirror and does not like what he/she sees. That's when change begins usually. And if that change prevents the heinous harm of others, is that not good?
I mean, we're just going to have to live with the bad manners. But then, I thought Skinner was insane.