Humanistic Psychology

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  • Humanistic Psychology
    • Free will
      • Claims that human beings are essentially self-determining and have free will
      • Does not mean people aren't affected by internal or external influences but we are active agents who have the ability to determine our own development
      • Rogers and Maslow reject  scientific models that attempt to establish general principles of human behavior
      • We are all unique and should be focused n the subjective experience rather than general laws.
        • Person centered approach
    • Self-actuaisation
      • Innate tendency to achieve everyones full potential
      • Self-actualisation represents Maslow's hierarchy of needs
      • All four lower levels of the hierarchy need to be met between fo the person can work towards self-actualization and fulfill their potential.
      • Humanistic psychologists regard personal as an essential part of being human
      • Personal growth is concerned with developing and changing as a person to become fulfilled, satisfied and goal orientated
      • Not everyone achieves self-actualization
    • The self, congruence and conditions of worth
      • Rogers argued that for personal growth to be achieved the concept of themselves and their ideal self should be equivalent
      • If a big gap exists between the two then the person will experience a state of incongruence and self-actualization won't be possible.
      • To reduce the gap, Rodgers developed vlient-centred therapy to help people cope with the problems of everyday living
        • Rogers claimed that many of the issues adults experience are rooted from childhood and can be explained by unconditional positive regard from parents
      • If parents set conditions of worth then they are storing up psychological problems for that child in the future
        • Rogers claimed that many of the issues adults experience are rooted from childhood and can be explained by unconditional positive regard from parents
    • Evaluation
      • Limited application
        • Humanistic psychology has little relatively real-world application
          • Rogerian therapy has revolutionised counseling techniques and Maslow's hierarchy of needs has been used to explain motivation
            • Untitled
      • Not reductionist
        • Humanistic reject any attempt to break up behavior and experience into smaller components.
          • Behaviorists explain human learning in terms of simple stimulus-response connections; Freud described the whole of personality as a conflict and biological psychologists reduce behavior to its basic processes
            • Humanistic psychologists use holism - idea that subjective experience can only be understood considering the whole person
              • This approach may have more validity by considering meaningful human behavior within real-life context
      • Positive approach
        • Human psychologists have been praised for bringing the person back into psychology as it promotes a positive image of the human condition
          • Freud saw human beings as slaves to their past and claimed all of us existed somewhere between 'common unhappiness and absolute despair'
            • Humanistic psychology offers a refreshing and optimistic alternative as it sees all people as basically good


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