Humanistic Perspective

What assumptions do Humanist Psychologists make about human nature?
Take optimistic view of human nature; 1. assume that people can rise above their primitive animal heritage, 2. people are largely conscious and rational beings who are not dominated by unconscious, irrational conflicts, 3. people are not helpless pawns of deterministic forces
Roger’s Person-Centered Theory focused on what personality structure? Describe the function of that structure.
Viewed personality structure in terms of just one construct. Called this construct the self. A self-concept is a collection of beliefs about one’s nature, unique qualities, and typical behavior.
What is incongruence in the context of person-centered theory?
degree of disparity between one’s self concept and one’s actual experience
How does the subjectivity of self-concept impact incongruence?
Your self-concept may not be entirely consistent with your experiences. Most people tend to distort their experiences to some extent to promote a relatively favorable self-concept.
How does childhood experience (e.g., conditional/unconditional affection from parents) impact the experience of incongruence?
When parental love seems conditional, children often block out of their self-concept those experiences that make them feel

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unworthy of love. Unconditional love children have less need to block out unworthy experiences because they’ve been assured they’re worthy of affection, no matter what they do
What is the primary source of anxiety?
experiences that threaten people’s personal view of themselves
Maslow’s Theory of Self-Actualization proposed the hierarchy of needs as a structural organization for human motivation/behavior.
How is this hierarchy organized?
What activates progression to the next need level?
What is the highest level one can reach – what does it encompass?
According to priority-basic needs must be met before less basic needs are aroused. When a person manages to satisfy a level of needs reasonably well, this satisfaction activates needs at the next level. Need for self-actualization-need to fulfill one’s potential
In what ways does an evolutionary theorist disagree with Maslow’s hierarchy?
Support first four levels of need, but they contend that the higher needs in the pyramid are not fundamental and that they are really pursued in service of esteem needs-fill in upper levels with needs related to reproductive fitness (need to find a mate, need to retain mate, and the need to successfully parent offspring)
According to Maslow, what constitutes a healthy personality?
Accurately tuned to reality and that they’re at peace with themselves. They’re open and spontaneous and they retain a fresh appreciation of the world around them. Socially, they’re sensitive to others’ needs and enjoy rewarding interpersonal relations. However, they’re not dependent on others for approval or uncomfortable with solitude. They thrive on their work, and they enjoy their sense of humor. “Peak experiences”-profound emotional highs more than others. They strike a nice balance between many polarities in personality.
What are the pros/cons of the humanistic perspective?
Pros-argument that a person’s subjective views may be more important than objective reality, self-concept, viewpoint laid foundation for the emergence of positive psych movement
Cons-many aspects are difficult to put to tests, unrealistically optimistic, more experimental research needed to catch up with theorizing
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