Positive Psychology And The Renaissance Of Humanistic Psychology

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In his article “What is the Good Life? Positive Psychology and the Renaissance of Humanistic Psychology” (2008) published in The Humanist Psychologist; Brent Dean Robbins addresses the issue of humanistic psychology’s cold reception of positive psychology, despite the clear similarities between the two and their common past. The article lists the three main reasons that might have caused this division and proceed to scrutinize and criticize them all. It also defends a holistic approach to virtue theory, one that combines qualitative (idiographic) and quantitative (nomothetic) methods to virtue theory. In the end, the author’s conclusion is that humanistic psychology should be proud with its contribution to the development of positive psychology. On the other hand, positive psychology should be wary of to the historical lessons leant by humanistic psychology the hard way.
Robbins begins defending his hypothesis by presenting the main concerns of positive psychology: interest in positive subjective experiences, interest
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Positive psychology has denied the qualitative methods of humanistic psychology in the past. However, one of the pioneers of the humanistic approach, Carl Rogers, used quantitative methods in his work, and even managed to implement them in his therapy. Nevertheless, what the article suggests is that humanistic psychology has long accepted the idea that qualitative topics such as ethical questions required qualitative methods. Indeed, Robbins predicts that positive psychology with come to the same conclusion in the end. The author does not fail to mention the philosophical roots of humanistic psychology in the works of Edmund Husserl and his phenomenological approach to psychology, which can be complementary to the more empirical approaches, favored by positive
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