Research paper humanistic learning

Maslow viewed self-actualizers as the supreme achievers in the human race. He studied stand-out individuals in order to better understand what characteristics they possessed that allowed them to achieve self-actualization.

Humanistic theory Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - words

In his research, he found that many of these people shared certain personality traits. Most self-actualizers had a great sense of awareness, maintaining a near-constant enjoyment and awe of life. They often described peak experiences during which they felt such an intense degree of satisfaction that they seemed to transcend themselves.

They actively engaged in activities that would bring about this feeling of unity and meaningfulness. Despite this fact, most of these individuals seemed deeply rooted in reality and were active problem-seekers and solvers.

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They developed a level of acceptance for what could not be changed and a level of spontaneity and resilience to tackle what could be changed. Most of these people had healthy relationships with a small group with which they interacted frequently.


According to Maslow, self-actualized people indicate a coherent personality syndrome and represent optimal psychological health and functioning. As with all early psychological studies, questions have been raised about the lack of empirical evidence used in his research.

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Because of the subjective nature of the study, the holistic approach allows for a great deal of variation but does not identify enough constant variables in order to be researched with true accuracy. Psychologists also worry that such an extreme focus on the subjective experience of the individual does little to explain or appreciate the impact of society on personality development.

Journal of Humanistic Psychology

Furthermore, the hierarchy of needs has been accused of cultural bias—mainly reflecting Western values and ideologies. Critics argue that this concept is considered relative to each culture and society and cannot be universally applied. Carl Rogers : Carl Rogers was a prominent humanistic psychologist who is known for his theory of personality that emphasizes change, growth, and the potential for human good. Carl Rogers was a prominent psychologist and one of the founding members of the humanist movement. Along with Abraham Maslow, he focused on the growth potential of healthy individuals and greatly contributed to our understanding of the self and personality.

They emphasized free will and self-determination, with each individual desiring to become the best person they can become. Humanistic psychology emphasized the active role of the individual in shaping their internal and external worlds. Rogers advanced the field by stressing that the human person is an active, creative, experiencing being who lives in the present and subjectively responds to current perceptions, relationships, and encounters.

Through person-centered counseling and scientific therapy research, Rogers formed his theory of personality development, which highlighted free will and the great reservoir of human potential for goodness. Rogers based his theories of personality development on humanistic psychology and theories of subjective experience.

He believed that everyone exists in a constantly changing world of experiences that they are at the center of.

Humanistic Approach Essay

A person reacts to changes in their phenomenal field, which includes external objects and people as well as internal thoughts and emotions. Rogers believed that all behavior is motivated by self-actualizing tendencies, which drive a person to achieve at their highest level. As a result of their interactions with the environment and others, an individual forms a structure of the self or self-concept— an organized, fluid, conceptual pattern of concepts and values related to the self.

If a person has a positive self-concept, they tend to feel good about who they are and often see the world as a safe and positive place. If they have a negative self-concept, they may feel unhappy with who they are. Rogers further divided the self into two categories: the ideal self and the real self.

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The ideal self is the person that you would like to be; the real self is the person you actually are. Rogers focused on the idea that we need to achieve consistency between these two selves. We experience congruence when our thoughts about our real self and ideal self are very similar—in other words, when our self-concept is accurate. High congruence leads to a greater sense of self-worth and a healthy, productive life.

Conversely, when there is a great discrepancy between our ideal and actual selves, we experience a state Rogers called incongruence , which can lead to maladjustment. Rogers distinguished between unconditional positive regard and conditional positive regard. People who are offered unconditional positive regard are accepted no matter what, instilling the person with the confidence needed to experiment with what life has to offer and make mistakes. Meanwhile, if only conditional positive regard is offered, the individual will only receive approval and love if they behave in ways that meet a social partner's approval.

People who experience unconditional positive regard, especially from their parents while they are growing up, are more likely to self-actualize. Rogers said that people have a concept of their ideal self and they want to feel and act in ways that are consistent with this ideal. While everyone experiences a certain degree of incongruence, if the ideal self and the self-image have a large degree of overlap, the individual will come closer to achieving a state of congruence.

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  8. Rogers explained that the path to congruence is unconditional positive regard and the pursuit of self-actualization. Rogers called an individual who achieves self-actualization a fully functioning person.

    Maslow’s Humanistic Theory of Personality

    According to Rogers, fully functioning people exhibit seven traits :. Fully functioning people are congruent and have received unconditional positive regard. Rogers also developed a personality theory. He referred to who an individual really is as the "self" or "self-concept" and identified three components of the self-concept:. Rogers remains one of the most influential figures in psychology today. A study found that since his death in , publications on his client-centered approach have increased and research has confirmed the importance of many of his ideas, including unconditional positive regard.

    Rogers' ideas about acceptance and support have also become the cornerstone of many helping professions , including social work, education, and child care. Share Flipboard Email.

    What even is "Self-Actualization"? - Humanistic Theory

    Cynthia Vinney, Ph. She has co-authored two books on psychology and media engagement.

    Unconditional Positive Regard. The Fully Functioning Person. Personality Development. Self-image or how individuals see themselves. Self-worth or the value individuals place on themselves. Ideal Self or the person an individual wants to be. The ideal self changes as we grow and our priorities change. Cherry, Kendra. McLeod, Saul.