Textbook Notes (362,768)
Canada (158,052)
Psychology (1,303)
PSYCH 2B03 (108)
Chapter 13

Chapter 13.docx

7 Pages
Unlock Document

McMaster University
Judith Shedden

Psych 2B03: Theories of Personality Chapter 13: Experience, Existence, and the Meaning of Life – Humanistic and Positive Psychology Humanistic Psychology - The goal of humanistic psychology is to overcome this paradox by acknowledging and addressing the ways in which the field of psychology is unique - Seek understanding of awareness, free will, happiness, and the many related aspects of the mind that are uniquely human and that give life meaning Phenomenology: Awareness is Everything - Phenomenology: one’s conscious experience of the world, is more important than the world itself - Immediate conscious experience is all that matters - Only place and time in which you exist is in your consciousness, right now - Past, future, other people and places are no more than ideas - Free will: you are here now and can choose what to think, feel, and do. - Construal: your particular experience of the world forming the basis of how you live your life, including the goals you pursue and the obstacles and opportunities you perceive. - It is by choosing your construal of the world, deciding how to interpret your experience, that you can achieve free will - Introspection: research assistants tried to observe their own perceptions and thought processes Existentialism - Broad philosophical movement that began in Europe in the mid-1800s - Arose as a reaction against European rationalism, science, and the industrial revolution - Thought science, technology, and rational philosophy had lost touch with human experience - Existential analysis begins with the concrete and specific experience of a human being existing at a particular moment in time and space - Your experience of existence happens one infinitesimally small moment at a time, which is then gone and followed by another - The three parts of experience:  The conscious experience of being alive has three components  Biological experience (Umwelt): sensations you feel by virtue of being a biological organism  Social experience (Mitwelt): what you think and feel as social being  Psychological experience (Eigenwelt): the experience of experience itself. How you feel and think when you try to understand yourself, your own mind, and your own existence. - Thrown-ness and angst:  Refers to the time, place, and circumstances into which you happened to be born  Existence in modern society is difficult because the world seems to have no overarching meaning or purpose  Why am I here? What should I be doing? There are no answers to these two concerns beyond those you invent for yourself.  Failure to these questions leads to anxiety about the meaning of life and whether you are spending yours the right way.  Angst: the unpleasant feelings caused by contemplating these concerns, existential anxiety.  Anguish: choices, though inevitable, are never perfect which leads to anguish.  Forlorn: alone with your existential choices.  Despair: inability to change crucial aspects of the world - Bad faith:  You must face angst and other unpleasant surrounding experiences directly.  Moral imperative to face your own mortality and the apparent meaninglessness of life, and to seek purpose in your existence nonetheless.  Optimistic toughness: existential courage.  The way out is to avoid the problem altogether  Living in bad faith: leading the unexamined life. Has three problems:  To ignore these troubling facts of existence is to live a cowardly lie; it is immoral and amounts to selling your soul for comfort.  Even if you manage to ignore troubling existential issues by surrounding yourself with material comforts, you still will not be happy.  It is impossible, because choosing not to worry about the meaning of life and surrendering your choices to external authorities is still a choice  Some people lead unexamined lives, never realizing how lucky they are to be alive and aware, and they eventually lose their awareness forever without realizing how special it was - Authentic existence:  Preferred alternative to bad faith is to courageously come to terms with existence.  Entails being honest, insightful and morally correct  Authentic existence will not relieve you from loneliness and unhappiness  The human being is the only animal that understands it must die  Terror inspired by the prospect of death can cause people to distort reality in many different ways in order to feel better and may be the basis of culture itself as “humans must balance a propensity for life with an awareness of the inevitability of death”  Nietzsche: ideal person sought to triumph over the apparent meaninglessness of life by developing the existential strength to face what must be faced.  Only through existential analysis can people regain awareness of their freedom  Existential theory is the only one which gives man dignity, the only one which does not reduce him to an object  You can become stronger in the face of difficult circumstances if you ask that life wants from you - The eastern alternative:  Existentialism begins with the experience of the single individual at a single moment in time  From the Eastern perspective: anatta, or nonself, the idea that the independent, singular self you sense inside your mind is merely an illusion  What feels like your self is merely a temporary composite of many things all of which are constantly changing  Illusion of having a separate and independent self is harmful, leads to feelings of isolation and excessive concern with “me” and that which is “mine”  The true nature of reality is that everything and everyone is interconnected now and not only in this moment but also across time  Time flows from present, to present, to present.  Instead of being forever alone and powerless, you are an integral and interconnected part of the universe and it is part of you, just as the present moment is made of equal parts past and future  You are immortal in the sense that you are part of something larger than yourself that will last forever  The well being of others is just as important as your own  If you do achieve this you are said to be enlightened: caring for others the same as for yourself, which leads to universal compassion, this is the essence of wisdom and leads to a serene, selfless state called nirvana Optimistic Humanism: Rogers and Maslow - Self-Actualization – Rogers:  The organism has one basic tendency and striving to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism  Person can be understood only from the perspective of her phenomenal field, which is the entire panorama of conscious experience - The hierarchy of needs – Maslow:  Person’s ultimate need or motive is to self-actualize  This motive becomes active only if the person’s more basic needs are met first, motivation is characterized by a hierarchy of needs  First a person requires food, water, safety, and other essentials of survival  The person then seeks for sex, meaningful relationships, prestige, and money  Only when those desires are satisfied dies the person turn to the quest for self-actualization  Hierarchy of needs explains employee motivation  Hierarchy of needs can also be used to explain how people in different cultures may have different bases of happiness - The fully functioning person:  Best way to live is to become more clearly aware of reality and of yourself  If you can perceive the world accurately and without neurotic distortion, and if you take responsibility for your choices, then you become a fully functioning person, who lives what the existentialist would call an authentic existence  Faces the world without fear, self-doubt, or neurotic defenses  Becomes possible only if you have experienced unconditional positive regard from the important people in your life  Maslow: anybody from any background can become fully functioning  Conditions of worth: if you feel that other people value you only if you are smart, successf
More Less

Related notes for PSYCH 2B03

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.