The Humanistic Psychology Abraham Maslow Carl Rogers
1st force: Psychodynamic Theory • 2nd force: Behavioral Theory • 3rd force: Humanistic Theory
Existentialist and Humanistic Theorists Both… • Believe in Free Will • Humanist do not believe that human being are pushed and pulled by mechanical forces, either of stimuli and reinforcements (behaviorism) or of unconscious instinctual impulses (psychoanalysis). • Emphasize the uniqueness of each individual • Believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. • Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom.
However… • On Human Nature… • Existentialists see it as non-existent or neutral • Humanists see it as basically good • Optimism vs. Pessimism • Humanists optimistic about humanity and the future • Existentialists tend to be much more gloomy
Abraham Maslow on Existential Gloom • “I do not think we need to take too seriously the European existentialists’ harping on dread, anguish, despair, and the like, for which their only remedy seems to be a stiff upper lip. This high IQ whimpering on a cosmic scale occurs whenever an external source of values fails to work. They should have learned from the psychotherapists that the loss of illusions and the discovery of identity, though painful at first, can ultimately be exhilarating and strengthening.”
Biography • He was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. • He was the first of seven children born to his parents • His parents were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. • Maslow became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books. • He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents wishes. Abraham and Bertha went on to have two daughters. • on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.
To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). After three semesters, he transferred to Cornell, and then back to CCNY • BA in 1930, MA in 1931, and PhD in 1934, all in psychology, and all from the University of Wisconsin. • Returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia. • In 1951, served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he began work in self-actualization.
Work with monkeys early in his career • Some needs take precedence over others, e.g. taking care of the thirst over hunger. • Thirst is a “stronger” need than hunger.
Maslow’s Three Types of Needs • Basic Needs • Needs to Know and Understand • Aesthetic Needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs Self-actualization Needs Esteem Needs Love & Belonging Needs Safety Needs Biological Needs
Physiological Needs • Needs for food, water, air, etc. • One function of civilization is to satisfy these needs so we can focus on the higher ones • Behavioral research usually studies at this level
Safety Needs • Needs for safety, order, security, etc. • Focused on after physiological needs met • Most commonly seen in children • Seen in some mental disorders (e.g., Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, Anxiety Disorders, Dependent Personality Disorder)
Belongingness & Love Needs • The need for affiliation, for friends, supportive family, group identification, intimate relationships • This level and higher ones often not satisfied even in affluent countries • These needs being unfulfilled at the root of many mental disturbances (depression, Borderline Personality Disorder) • Need to receive and to give love
Esteem Needs • Need to be held in high regard by self and others (not just “self-esteem”) • comes from mastery, achievement, adequacy, feelings of competence, confidence, independence • Ideally this need met by the deserved respect of others
Self-Actualization Needs • A person must actualize, that is make real, what exists inside them as a potential • Most other theorists wouldn’t see this as a need • Freud would predict people would stop at lower needs • Even Adler might predict stopping at esteem needs
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Basic Needs Self-actualization Needs Esteem Needs Love & Belongingness Needs Safety Needs Physiological Needs
Carl Rogers • “In a psychological climate which is nurturant of growth and choice, I have never known an individual to choose the cruel or destructive path….it is cultural influences which are the major factor in our evil behaviors.”
Biography • Carl grew up on a farm in Illinois, developing an interest in biology & agriculture. • Expressing emotions was not allowed in the Rogers household & it took its toll on Carl who developed an ulcer at 15. • Rogers went to the University of Wisconsin to study agriculture in 1919. • Traveled to China and exposed to Eastern religion----this is a turning point in his religious up-bringing.
Biography • He finished his degree and left for Union Theological Seminary in NY to become a minister. • 1926 left seminary to study psychology. • He gained recognition when he won the APA award for distinguished scientific contribution in 1956. • In 1963, he moved to La Jolla, California. Developed the Center for Studies of the Person. • He continued his scientific efforts, writing, holding workshops, etc. until he died in 1987.
Carl Rogers: Person-Centered Approach • Rogers believed that humans are basically good. • He argued that we have an innate drive to reach an optimal sense of ourselves & satisfaction with our lives.
The Actualizing Tendency We do not behave irrationally, as psychoanalysis assumed--we move with ordered complexity toward our goals This tendency leads to complexity, independence, and social responsibility The motivation intrinsic to each person is basically good and healthy
Person-Centered Theory - The Actualizing Tendency A person who pays attention to the organismic valuing process is self-actualizing or fully functioning A person who is fully functioning has several characteristics: openness to experience, existential living, organismic trusting, experiential freedom, and creativity
Characteristics of a Fully Functioning Person • 1. These people are open to their experiences. They strive to experience life to its fullest & are willing to take some risks. • 2. These people live in the present (here & now). • 3. These folks trust their own feelings & instincts. They aren’t held back by old standards or concern for what others might think. • 4. These folks are less concern with social conventions.
Conditions of Worth & Unconditional Positive Regard • Rogers argues that most of us grow up in an atmosphere where we are given love & support as long as we behave the way we are expected to. • This is what he calls Conditional positive regard. The emphasis is that love is given conditionally (with a string attached).
If we don’t do what our parents want us to do? • Rogers argued that in these cases, parents withhold their love from us. • As a result of this, children learn to abandon their true feelings, wishes, & desires, for those of their parents. • This paves the way for us to become alienated from our true selves.
Unconditional positive regard • We need this to accept all parts of our personality. • With this we know we are loved & valued for being who we are. • Parents can do this, by it clear that their love is not contingent on the child’s behavior (even when such behavior is abhored).
Conditions in Person-Centered Therapy • Direction comes from the client rather than from the therapist’s insights, so referred to as nondirective therapy, later client-centered therapy • Empathy • Congruence/Genuineness • Unconditional Positive Regard