Humanistic Psychology Essay

2515 words - 11 pages

Unviversity of Saint Leo |
Humanistic Psychology |
How Maslow influences Humanistic Psychology? |

This paper demonstrates how Abraham Maslow’s self-actualization and transpersonal psychology influence Humanistic Psychology today. An elaborate background of Maslow is presented to show how Humanistic Psychology took ground. A discussion of the self-actualization theory and peak experiences is also presented to reveal the whole concept behind the Humanistic Psychology. Further, an analysis and discussion of the importance of Human Psychology in our society today is offered in this paper to give the reader better insights on the topic.


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What is Humanistic psychology? Well, Humanistic Psychology emphasizes on human strengths and positive aspiration. It supports the belief in the basic goodness present in and respect for humanity, and the realization and understanding of one’s existence and social responsibility. However, many working within the field (i.e. Abraham Maslow) have noted that the potential originality of humanistic psychology has not been fully realized (Giorgi, 2005).
Abraham Maslow, one of the founders, better yet the father of humanistic psychology and transpersonal psychology. Maslow assumed that a precise and practical theory of personality must include not only the depths but also the heights that each individual is capable of attaining. The concepts of both Skinner and Freud, and their followers, have tended to ignore or to explain away the cultural, social, and individual achievements of humanity, including creativity, love, altruism, and mysticism ( (Leonard, Decement 1983). These were among Maslow's greatest interests. Abraham Maslow has done more to change our view of human nature and human possibilities than has any other American psychologist of the past fifty years. His influence, both direct and indirect, continues to grow, especially in the fields of health, education, and management theory, and in the personal and social lives of millions of Americans. (Leonard, Decement 1983).

Philosophical and Historical Context :
Throughout history many individuals and groups have affirmed the inherent value and dignity of human beings. In Western civilization we honor the times and places, such as Classical Greece and Europe of the Renaissance, when such affirmations were expressed. Humanistic Psychology is a contemporary manifestation of that ongoing commitment. Its message is a response to the denigration of the human spirit that has so often been implied in the image of the person drawn by behavioral and social sciences.
During the first half of the twentieth century, American psychology was dominated by behaviorism and psychoanalysis but Neither fully acknowledged the possibility of studying values, intentions and meaning as elements in conscious existence. Although various European perspectives such as phenomenology had some limited influence, on the whole mainstream American psychology had been captured by the mechanistic beliefs of behaviorism and by the biological reductionism and determinism of classical psychoanalysis.

humanistic psychology began to in the period before World War II in the writings of men like, Carl Rogers, Abraham Maslow, and Rollo May. These ideas began coalesce into a movement in the 1950s, with the public acceptance of the more popular writings of Rogers, Maslow, and May, as well as in the philosophical and psychiatric interest in European existentialism. It was crystallized in 1962 by two events: the publication of Abraham Maslow's Toward a Psychology of Being, in which humanistic psychology was defined as the "Third...

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