Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality

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Mileva Repasky
PSYC 250
Jean M. Porter
University of Phoenix

Personality can be defined as “the complex of all the attributes-behavioral, temperamental, emotional and mental-that characterizes a unique individual.” (Princeton University, n.d.) Personality has been studied and explained for a long time and is linked directly to Maslow’s humanistic and biological theories. This paper seeks to describe the biological factors that influence the formation of personality. It will also examine the basic aspects of humanistic theory that are incompatible with biological explanations of personality.

The proponents of humanistic theory were Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. This theory focuses on the potential of individuals and emphasizes the essence of growth and self actualization. The basic belief of humanistic theory is that people are naturally good with social and mental problems. They have emphasized that individuals have control in determining their mental health. The theory also credits the environmental influences. This theory has continued to influence therapy, healthcare and education. It has helped remove some stigma in therapies and have influenced individuals to explore their own potential. Though it has been significant in personality assessment, it does not objectively study and measure humanistic phenomena. For example, in describing self actualization which is a state of self fulfillment, we cannot tell objectively if someone is self actualized. Individual assessment of their experiences is what we are likely to rely on. There is no accurate measure of the qualities of an individual. (Schneider et al, 2002).

The biological theory was proponent by Hans Eysenck. He believes that the biological factors influence our personalities. The theory involves studies on biological bases of behaviors like; hormones influence, chemical influence, neuroanatomy and...
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