Biological vs Humanistic Approach to Personality

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow, Psychology Pages: 5 (1532 words) Published: April 18, 2009

Biological vs. Humanistic Approach to Personality
Lawrence Sawyer
University of Phoenix

Biological vs. Humanistic Approach to Personality
As several styles are used to define the personality, two are often used to subsidize another approach. Both biological and humanistic approaches are typically used as under tones. Evolutionary/genetic perspectives do not generally account for the biological mechanisms between genes and personality.  Theorists use biological processes in an attempt to fill in the gap between personality and genetics by inferring, theorizing and researching biological links with behavior. Anatomical approach examines functions of various structures of brain. The biochemical approach examines hormones & neurotransmitters.  This is a complex, difficult area of personality with no clear and simple answers. At a second year level, the expectation here is to get your head around the basic principles that have been proposed. Also, look for places where you can link the theories to each other and to other perspectives of personality. In this way, the content of the biological perspective is most likely to make sense and become part of your understanding of human psychology. One of the pioneers in attempting to relate personality to biology was the British psychologist Hans Eysenck. His theory is complex and has evolved over the years, but one of its basic assumptions is that the human brain has excitatory and inhibitory neural mechanisms. A basic assumption is that the human brain has excitatory and inhibitory neural mechanisms. Abraham Manslow developed a theory of personality that has influenced a number of different fields, including education. This wide influence is due in part to the high level of practicality of Maslow's theory. This theory accurately describes many realities of personal experiences. Many people find they can understand what Maslow says. They can recognize some features of their experience or behavior which is true and identifiable but which they have never put into words. Maslow is a humanistic psychologist. Humanists do not believe that human beings are pushed and pulled by mechanical forces, either of stimuli and reinforcements (behaviorism) or of unconscious instinctual impulses (psychoanalysis). Humanists focus upon potentials. They believe that humans strive for an upper level of capabilities. Humans seek the frontiers of creativity, the highest reaches of consciousness and wisdom. This has been labeled "fully functioning person", "healthy personality", or as Maslow calls this level, "self-actualizing person." Maslow has set up a hierarchic theory of needs. All of his basic needs are instinctoid, equivalent of instincts in animals. Humans start with a very weak disposition that is then fashioned fully as the person grows. If the environment is right, people will grow straight and beautiful, actualizing the potentials they have inherited. If the environment is not "right" (and mostly it is not) they will not grow tall and straight and beautiful. Maslow has set up a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs. Beyond these needs, higher levels of needs exist. These include needs for understanding, esthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs. In the levels of the five basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. Maslow's basic needs are as follows: Physiological Needs are biological needs. They consist of needs for oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature. They are the strongest needs because if a person were deprived of all needs, the physiological ones would come first in the person's search for satisfaction. Safety Needs pulls are physiological needs that are satisfied and are no longer controlling thoughts and behaviors, the needs for security can become active....
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Biological and Humanistic Approach to Personality Essay
  • Essay on Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
  • Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality Essay
  • Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality Essay
  • Essay on Biological & Humanistic Approaches to Personality
  • Essay on Psychoanalytic Approach vs. Humanistic Approach
  • Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality Essay
  • Biological and Humanistic Approaches to personality Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free