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Chapter 7

Chapter 7 - Humanistic Theories and Self-Actualization

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University of Guelph
PSYC 2740
Stephen Lewis

Chapter 7Humanistic Theories and SelfActualization Root of humanistic theories focus on individual experience of each human not how they are interpreted by others o Stress the innate goodness of people and continual strive for self improvement Organistic or holistic theoriesfocus on development of entire organism o Kurt Goldstein 1939leading proponent of this focusBrain functioned from entire organismperson organisms motivated by drive of self actualizationSelf actualization continuousunrelenting strive to develop ones full potentialy Self improvement and self completionCommon themes of the Humanists o Central role of personal growthprime importancedont stop striving when needs are met continue to develop in positive manner and better ourselves part of human experienceo Importance of openness to personal experienceMaslow openness apart of self actualization and characteristics of healthy people Emphasis on phenomenology of the individual perceptions and viewpoints of each person even if incorrect it is how they see the worldNo one knows person better then they know themselvesRogers behaviour not directly influenced by cultural or organic factors instead our perception of the factors make influence o Living in the here and nowLife process approach allows to experience daily events If dwell and stress on past or future may contribute to psychological distress and not able to fully experienceDarcy SantorDavid Zuroff Canadian researchersy Depression and health problems strongly associated with failure to accept the past o Personal responsibility Individuals ultimate responsible for themselves Reject persons mechanistic views that we are unable to exercise self control and achieve self determinationDifferent from Freudian view that we are controlled by early childhood experiences People have power of becoming whatever they want o Inherent goodness of peopleMaslow and Rogers both emphasizePositive psychology movement people capable of and the potential levels of greatness that are possible to achieveThis strength of humanistic approach also a drawback y Difficult to identify positive features of infamous killersMaslows Humanistic Theory o Abraham Maslow born in Brooklyn NY 1908 died 1970 in California o Key concepts distinction between deficiency motives and growth motives and hierarchy of needs analysis of characteristics of psychologically healthy peopleo Deficiency Motives and Growth MotivesDifferences between them is central aspect of theoryNeurosis regarded as deficiency diseasey Neurotic person needs something that is absenty Ungratified wishes for safety belongingnessidentification love relationships and respect and prestigeGrowth motives psychological health and actions that help use realize full potentialNeurosis lack of personal growth and represents loss of capacity of capabilityConflicthopelessapathetic people give up entirely indicator of health y Reflects desire to achieve more favourable level of existence y Experience conflict have renewed sense of growth must experience some painful experiences in journey of higher level of self development o General characteristic of NeedsFive types of needs for survival survival needs physiological safety needs need for belonging and love esteem needs need for self actualizationLower needs physiological stronger than higher needs self actualization y When one need is frustrated lower needs predominant and stronger y More relevant for survival take precedence y Needs are more localized tangiblespecific than higher needsLower level needs to be satisfied before proceeding to next levelGratification of higher needs important for positive health outcomes y Survival and growth value
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