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Introduction to Psychology II: Lecture 010
Introduction to Psychology II: Lecture 010

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Steve Joordens

6 February 2013CHAPTER 12 PERSONALITY CONTDTHE HUMANISTICEXISTENTIAL APPROACH PERSONALITY AS CHOICE How humans make healthy choices that create their personalities Humanistic Psychologists emphasized a positive optimistic view of human nature that highlights peoples inherent goodness and their potential for personal growth Existentialist Psychologists focused on the individual as a responsible agent who is free to create and live his or her life while negotiating the issue of meaning and the reality of death HumanisticExistential Approach integrates these insights with a focus on how a personality can become optimalSelfActualizing Tendency is the human motive toward realizing our inner potential IE Creativity spiritual enlightenmentHierarchy of Needs is a model of essential human needs arranged according to their priority in which basic physiological and safety needs must be satisfied before a person can afford to focus on higher level psychological needsSelfActualization is the need to be good to be fully alive and to find meaning in life When people shape their lives around goals that do not match their true nature and capabilities they are less likely to be happy than those whose lives and goals do match It feels good to be doing exactly what you are capable of doing Flow is the engagement in tasks that exactly match ones abilities creates a mental state of energized focus Tasks that are below our abilities cause boredom those that are too challenging cause anxiety and those that are just right lead to the experience of flow Existentialists agree with humanists about many of the features of personality but focus on challenges to the human condition that are more profound than the lack of a nurturing environment Awareness of our own existence and the ability to make choices about how to behave have a doubleedged quality They bring an extraordinary richness and dignity to human life but they also force us to confront realities that are difficult to face IE Prospect of our own death Existential Approach regards personality as governed by an individuals ongoing choices and decisions in the context of the realities of life and death Angst is the anxiety of fully being the difficulties we face in finding meaning in life and in accepting the responsibility of making free choices provoke this Security providing defense mechanisms can be selfdefeating and stifle the potential for personal growth For existentialists the solution is to face the issues squareon and learn to accept and tolerate the pain of existence IN SUMMARYThe humanisticexistential approach to personality grew out of philosophical traditions that are at odds with most of the assumptions of the trait and psychoanalytic approachesHumanists see personality as directed by an inherent striving toward selfactualization and development of our unique human potentialsExistentialists focus on angst and the defensive response people often have to questions about the meaning of life and the inevitability of death
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