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Humanism is a movement that focuses on the individual and human values. That is where the humanistic perspective originates from. It shows the creative, spontaneous, and active nature of human beings. It is overall very optimistic and focuses on the ability to overcome hardships. Humanistic Perspective is the positive side of what it means to be human. It shows the personal view of each individual. Each person is responsible for their own well being and happiness as humans

Maslow's Heirarchy- Basic needs met before more complex ones

Carl Rogers- self concept is organized pattern of perceived characteristics along with the values attached to those attributes

Conditions of worth are judgements of behaviors that bring approval from others. To promote growth and development, parents should provide unconditional love and acceptance to children. Client centered therapy provides an unconditional positive response to client's responses, regardless of what they say.

Existentialism- Defining the meaning of existance
-One of the founding ideas of the humanistic perspective

Existentialists believe in fighting for their life; they fight for the survival of their people and for their nations. The thought by Existentialists/Humanists leans toward the quality side of the quality vs. quantity argument.
You can make your owm existamce or you can just exist
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Background Information- Abraham Maslow
Abraham Maslow was born on April 1st, 1908. His parents wanted him to strive hard for an education, and he soon took comfort in books. He studied at the City College of New York as well as Cornell. At the University of Wisconsin, he became thoroughly interested in psychology. Maslow decided he wanted to study humanistic psychology when he met Kurt Goldstein. Goldstein originated the idea of self-actualization.

Abraham Maslow proposed that an individual is motivated by a hierarchy of needs. Basic needs must be met before higher ones can be satisfied. Arranged in order from lowest to highest (in a hierarchy), the needs are

  • physiological (satisfaction of hunger and thirst)
  • safety (security)
  • belongingness and love (being loved, avoiding loneliness)
  • esteem (achievement, recognition, self-esteem)
  • self-actualization (realization of one's full potential).
Why is the Humanistic Perspective Better than Psychoanalytical?
The humanistic perspective was created after psychologists became annoyed at the negativity in Freud's thinking and beliefs. The humanistic perspective is more based on positivity and heathly people than psychoanalytical troubled cases.

The Controversy Surrounding the Humanistic Perspective
There have been issues and criticism based on qualities of the humanistic perspective. Some say that its ideas are too basic and not descriptive enough. Researchers have also found that it does not appreciate the truth of our human capacity for evil. Critics also believe that the humanistic perspective is based too much on making ourselves happy, which in turn leads to selfishness and overindulgence.

Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers illustrated an emphasis on human potential. He believed that the world should be seen through every person's eyes, not the researcher's. This moved away from traditional psychotherapy, by developing a client-centered psychotherapy. This type of therapy focused on open communication and sees non-judgmental attitudes and uses mutual respect as powerful tools.Specific assessment techniques and the therapist's opinion are considered unimportant in Rogers’s philosophy.

Rogers also agreed with a lot of what Maslow thought. He believed that people are basically good, and that all creatures strive to make the very best of their existence. Most of Rogers’s theory is the actualizing tendency or the built-in motivation present in every life-form to develop its potentials to the fullest extent possible. When we hunger, we find food- food that tastes good. This is called organism valuing. Another thought was that people are endowed with self-actualizing tendencies, and each of us is primed for growth and fulfillment. If we live like we all know we should, we will become even more complex, becoming more flexible- making life's little and big disasters seem easier.

There are three climate conditions that are growth promoting, Rogers believes.
1.Genuineness; meaning that by being open with your own feelings, dropping your facades, and being transparent and self-disclosing- you can nurture your growth.
2. Accepting; by offering unconditional positive regard, attitude of grace, and value everyone even knowing we all have failures, we can nurture growth.
  • An example of this is if you are in a good marriage, an intimate relationship, or in a close family- you are free to be spontaneous without having to worry about others esteem. Rogers also believes you can nurture growth by being empathetic, or sharing and mirroring our feelings and reflecting our meanings.
3. Empathetic; sharing and mirroring our feelings and reflecting our meanings


Rogers believed we value:

Positive regard; love, affection, attention, and nurturance.. Babies need love and attention, and without it, they might die. People fail to thrive if these things are not achieved.
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Positive self-regard; self-esteem, self-worth, a positive self-image. We achieve this positive self-regard by experiencing the positive regard others show us. Without this self-regard we feel small and helpless, and we fail to become all that we can be. When our self-concept is negative, we see ourselves falling short of an ideal self that we give ourselves, along with society. We then feel unhappy and dissatisfied.


Conditions of worth; as we grow up, our parents, teachers, peers, and the media only give us what we need when we show we are worthy, rather than just because we need it. We get a drink when we finish our class, we get something sweet when we finish our vegetables, and we get love and affection if and only if we behave. Like Maslow, Rogers believes that if left to their own devices animals will tend to eat and drink things that are good for them, and consume them in balanced proportions. Babies also seem to want and like what they need.

Conditional positive regard; because we need positive regard, these conditions are very powerful, and we bend ourselves into a shape determined, by a society that may or may not truly have our best interests at heart. Over time, this conditioning leads us to have conditional positive self-regard. We begin to like ourselves only if we meet up with the standards others have applied to us, rather than if we are truly actualizing our potentials. And since these standards were created without keeping each individual in mind, more often than not we find ourselves unable to meet them, and therefore unable to maintain any sense of self-esteem. An example of this is weight. Everyone from all ages is told how much they are suppose to weigh. If you think about it, someone doesn't have to be paper thin to be healthy. This is what society tells us all the time. So everyone that is "overweight" but IS in fact healthy, thinks what society tells them- that they need to loose weight. This lowers their self-esteem.

The aspect of you being that is founded in the actualizing tendency, follows organismic valuing, needs and receives positive regard and self-regard, Rogers calls the real self.


Savage Chickens - Where Am I?
Savage Chickens - Where Am I?
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Ed Deci (1975) - Self-Determination (Autonomy)

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Ed Deci researched Rogers' ideas on self-determination. He believed that some actions that we decide to take are done in order to gain a form of payment or to satisfy someone elses demands upon us. He explained this to be called Controlled actions or, introjected regulation. These are used so that the person may avoid guilt or anxiety and so that they can gain self-approval.

Some other actions that we take upon ourselves are for intrinsic value to ourselves. These are called Self-Determined actions or identified regulation. These actions are looked as personally meaningful and valuable towards the person. An example is that you are more likely able to continue with a class if you find it interesting rather then if your parents say that it is good for you. We will usually stay interested in performing this behaviour if it's a self-determined behaviour.

Ed Deci has also shown great amounts of evidence that promising a person with a form of reward can change someone's interest in the task. This presense of an award can also help increase the person's motivation. Deci has argued that the reward has a controlling aspect and an informational aspect on a person. The informational aspect of the reward can help you learn something about your own skills. An example that Deci found was that if the reward is telling you that you are competent, then your motivation may increase but if the reward shows only conditions of worth, then the persons motivation will most likely decrease. In a more broder sense, people are most motivcated by self-determintation and autonomy.

Deci also suggests that there are three more needs that are not necessarily arranged in the hierarchy. The needs that he suggests are the need for autonomy, the need for competence, and the need for relatedness. Autonomy is the freedom that a person has over their own will power. Deci explains competence to be the possesion of a great quality by the person such as knowledge or the ability to do something. Deci's explanation of relatedness as being the ability of the person to connect to something or someone else through a source of means.

The success of any new idea depends on various personality types, whether its of those who produce and market products, or of the customers who eventually adopt them. Carl Rogers, an American Psychologist, categorized personality types of people, and discovered why some people were "Destined for Success" and why others were always "Missing The Boat."
InovatorBellCurve.jpg Carl Roger's Theory and Analysis
PROGRESS: "Risking toward Success!"
INNOVATORS are a very small percentage (2.5%) of people that immediately embrace new ideas. Right away they see potential and imagine the possibilities, and all on their own they start developing ways to put them into action. They are comfortable with challenges, have great propensity toward taking risks, and work stubbornly to see things through to success.
EARLY ADAPTORS are a small group, (13.5%) of people. They are usually Social and Opinion Leaders, often popular, educated, articulate, and they see a competitive advantage in adopting new ideas early. This group is very effective in spreading acceptance of new ideas because they generate the respect of their peers who look to them for guidance.
BARRIERS: "Hesitating toward Nowhere!"
THE EARLY MAJORITY; 34%, an important link in the circulation process because they represent mainstream thinking. They slowly follow with calculated willingness to adopt any innovations, and they tend to deliberate for some time before completely adopting new ideas. The Early Majority are seldom looked to as Opinion Leaders because they tend to get involved only after something has become big or successful.
THE LATE MAJORITY; 34% the common personality traits here are often feelings of being less entitled or undeserved of success. They feel that success is more luck than preparation. Typically paralyzed by insecurity and skepticism they are not risk takers and wait too long looking for guarantees before getting involved.
LAGGARDS are the last people to embrace new ideas and they influence nobody. They represent 16% of people and they are often closed minded due to being less educated and uniformed, and scared of change. They usually don't have aspirations or passions for new ideas and personal success.
  • Carl Rogers was inspired by a questionnaire that asked people to describe themselves by what they are and what they want to be. When both of these things are as close as possible, their self-concept is positive. However, some psychologists thing of questionnaires as assessments are depersonalizing, and that a physical conversation would provide a better understanding of the experiences of each individual person.

Carl Rogers' 10 famous "Can I" questions"
How Can I Create A Helping Relationship?

1. Can I be in some way which will be perceived by the other persons as trustworthy, as dependable or consistent in some deep sense.
2. Can I be expressive enough as a person that what I am will be communicated unambiguously?
3. Can I let myself experience positive attitudes toward another person-attitudes of warmth, caring, liking, interest, and respect?
4. Can I be strong enough as a person to be separate from the other? Can I be a sturdy respecter of my own feelings, my own needs, as well as his?
5.Am I secure enough within myself to permit him his separateness? Can I permit him to be what he is-honest or deceitful, infantile or adult, despairing, or over-confident?
6.Can I let myself enter the world of his feelings and personal meanings and see these as he does? Can I step into his private world so completely that I lose all desire to evaluate or judge it
7.Can I receive him as he is? Can I communicate this attitude?
8.Can I act with sufficient sensitivity in the relationship that my behavior will not be perceived as a threat?
9.Can I free him from the threat of external evaluation?
10.Can I meet this other individual as a person who is in the process of becoming, or will I bound by his past and by my past?

questions url- http://www.spiritofcaring.com/public/397.cfm

Read more: http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/The-Humanistic-Perspective.topicArticleId-25438,articleId-25390.html#ixzz0gvwThF31

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Boeree, Dr. C. George. "Abraham Maslow." My Webspace files. N.p., n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2010. http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html.

Brumley, T. (2006, February 6). Perspectives (theories) of abnormal behavior. Retrieved from http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/troy/blogView?showComments=true&entry=3317531193

CliffsNotes.com. The Humanistic Perspective. 25 Feb 2010 http://www.cliffsnotes.com/study_guide/topicArticleId-25438,articleId-25390.html.

Drumwright, Bonnie. Humanistic Perspective 25 Feb 2010

Humanistic perspectives on personality. (2003, October 14). Retrieved from http://wilderdom.com/personality/L10-2Humanistic.html

Savage, Doug. "Where am I?" September 7, 2007. Savage Chickens
2 MArch, 2010 <http://www.savagechickens.com/2007/09/where-am-i.html>