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Psychology : Theories Of Personality

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KirtmanNPSY800-4

NORTHCENTRAL UNIVERSITY
ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET

Student: Nisaa Kirtman

PSY8100 CLIFFORD

THEORIES OF PERSONALITY 4 (ANALYZE THE HUMANISTIC APPROACH TO UNDERSTANDING PERSONALITY)

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The Humanistic Approach to Understanding Personality

In the 1950?s, the field of psychology was dominated mainly by two schools of thought: psychoanalytic theory (the unconscious mind and unconscious motivations that shape human behavior), and behaviorism (the ways in which conditioning processes shape human behavior). To many humanistic and positive psychologists, psychoanalysis and behaviorism offered interpretations to personality and behavior that
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It is as if psychology has voluntarily restricted itself to only half its rightful jurisdiction, and that, the darker, meaner half (Maslow, 1954, p. 354).

Hence, Maslow and others did not believe that individuals are just the product of their unconscious desires and motivations and their environment. There are four main pillars to the humanistic view on human nature. Firstly, humanistic psychologists believe that individuals have free will to make decisions that want, and go down any path or direction in life. A second assumption is that individuals are innately good and do in fact have a desire to improve their environment and improve themselves. This particular assumption exemplifies the notion that we are optimistic by nature and use our optimism to overcome challenges. In the same vein, individuals have a desire to grow and improve as humans, and experience self-actualization, a process that demonstrates an individual?s need for growth and to have their highest needs fulfilled.

According to humanistic theory, if individuals are given the right environment, they will always choose to be their better self. As cited in Winston (2015), Maslow explained, ?In a psychological climate which is nurturant of growth and choice, I have never known an individual to choose the destructive path? (p. 47). The role of the self and authenticity are central
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