Personality Theory

Humanistic Personality Theory
Christa Hackett
HHS 310
Instructor Reed
October 1, 2013

Humanistic personality theories make up part of the personality. In these theories there is an emphasis put on how important free will and individual experience is in the personality development of a person. The important tasks of this theory are personal growth, self understanding and self-actualization. The growth of knowledge never stands still and is never complete ( Brill & Levine). This theory is geared toward growth and fulfillment and it shows that human beings are the ones who decide what direction to take in life.
Humanistic personality theories gained prominence in the early 1960s and was developed by Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers when they published their first books about humanistic ideas and outlining their importance. Humanistic theory was never meant to replace behaviorism or psychoanalysis. Maslow based his theory after his first child was born from behaviorism to humanism. He based his own assumptions about human potential and partially on his studies of historical figures in whom he thought self-actualized.   The humanistic approach with its focus on the human capacity for goodness, creativity and freedom and its view of humans spiritual, rational, purposeful and autonomous beings, did not arise in the 60s, there were early forerunners of this school of thought. Most theories of motivation are limited because they deal with basic physiological needs such as thirst, hunger, or the need to avoid anxiety. Personal growth is overlooked in some theories in Maslow’s view. Maslow paid attention to the issues above based on his theory of the hierarchy of needs.   Carl Rogers developed the person centered approach which is unique in giving an understanding to human relationships and personalities. According to Rogers, there is a self concept which is made up of the ideal self and the perceived self. A person is deemed to be psychologically healthy with a...