Alloplastic adaptation (from the Greek word allos) is a form of adaptation where the subject attempts to change the environment when faced with a difficult situation. Criminality, mental illness and activism can all be classified as categories of alloplastic adaptation.
The concept of alloplastic adaptation was developed by Sigmund Freud, Sándor Ferenczi, and Franz Alexander. They proposed that when an individual was presented with a stressful situation, he could react in one of two ways:
- Autoplastic adaptation: The subject tries to change himself, i.e. the internal environment.
- Alloplastic adaptation: The subject tries to change the situation, i.e. the external environment.
The founding lawyers of Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard created a law firm in which Jewish lawyers might flourish -- an expression of alloplastic adaptation.