'We fear to know the fearsome and unsavory aspects of ourselves, but we fear even more
to know the godlike in ourselves.'
~ Abraham Maslow
Humanistic psychology emerged as a third force during the late 1950's in the United States as an alternative to the deterministic orientations of behaviorism and psychoanalysis. There was a powerful element of European existentialism and phenomenology present in its earliest years of development, but humanistic psychology has now developed into an eclectic movement that attracts a diverse range of theorists.
The influence of the zeitgeist in the 1960's in the United States, where the rights of the individual was an issue in both political and personal matters, was also important in the development of humanistic theories.
Humanistic psychology's emphasis on the possibility of personal growth and change found immediate acceptance among academics from various disciplines. In particular, much of its ideology appealed to those who wished to see fundamental changes within society. Assumptions such as the innate goodness of the individual, self-direction and human potential have attracted broad debate in diverse fields.
The methodology applied by humanistic psychologists tends to use alternatives to those focusing on quantification and scientific rigour, but often produces useful data.
Concepts from the humanistic perspective have been applied to many areas, including international relations, counselling, parenting classes, and personnel management. However, the humanistic perspective is not applied universally, perhaps because of its emphasis on the individual and its optimistic view of human potential.
DEVELOPMENT and CULTURAL CONTEXT
Historical and cultural conditions that gave rise to the humanistic perspective:
Contribution of the humanistic perspective to the study of behavior:
Assumptions on which key concepts are based:
Theoretical explanations of behaviour:
Strengths and limitations of methods:
Ethics and controversies of research:
Effectiveness (relative strengths and limitations) of the perspective in explaining psychological or social questions:
QUOTES BY CARL ROGERS...
What I am is good enough, if only I would be it openly.
The good life is a process, not a state of being; it is a direction, not a destination.
The curious paradox is that when I can accept myself just as I am, then can i change.
QUOTES BY VIKTOR FRANKL
What is to give light must endure burning.
Those who have a 'why' to live can bear with almost any 'how'.
Ultimately , man should not ask what the meaning of his life is, but rather he should recognize that it (is) he who is asked.
- Humans are intrinsically good.
- Humans have free will; not all behaviour is determined
- All individuals are unique and have an innate drive to achieve their maximum potential
- A proper understanding of human behaviour can only be achieved by studying humans - not animals.
- Psychology should research areas that are meaningful and important to human existence, not neglect them because they are too difficult. Psychology should be applied to enrich human life.
- Psychology should study internal experience as well as external behaviour.
- Psychology should study the individual case (idiographic) rather than the average performance of groups (nomothetic).
- The whole person should be studied in their environmental context
HISTORICAL and CULTURAL CONTEXT
CONCEPTUAL FRAMEWORK (KEY THEORISTS/ KEY IDEAS)
hierarchy of needs
Here and Now
Unconditional Positive Regard
Man's Search for Meaning
Love and Will
trans (individual); ego (personal)
all lines, all quadrants
APPLICATION to ISSUES
Highlights the value of more individualistic and idiographic methods of study.
Emphasizes the importance of self-actualization, responsibility, freedom of choice, and social context in therapy.
Their belief in free will is in opposition to the deterministic laws of science.
They seek the unique aspects of individuals, rather than producing generalized laws of behaviour.
They investigate issues such as emotion and consciousness which are difficult to study objectively.
There is some question as to the cross-cultural relevance of the highly individualistic approach.
Qualitative data provides more holistic information, but also is more difficult to apply.
CONTRIBUTION to PSYCHOLOGY