Biological and Humanistic Approaches

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Abraham Maslow Pages: 3 (1027 words) Published: November 17, 2013


Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
PSY 250
October 20, 2013

Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
Personality is defined as the pattern of collective character, behavioral, emotional, temperamental, and mental traits of a person (The Free Dictionary, 2013). In this paper the writer will discuss Abraham Maslow (1971), a humanistic psychologist, hierarchy of needs theory and how it is said to influence human personality. She will also cover some biological factors and how they influence personality and relate to Maslow’s hierarchy. Finally she will explain basic human aspects not compatible with biological explanations of personality.

Maslow believed that people are not controlled by the mechanical forces, which include the reinforcement and stimuli forces of behaviorism. His main focus was on what people can really do as opposed to their limitations. The essence of humanistic psychology is usually similar to cognitive psychology as it recognizes perception as the actual essence of actions and behavior. It also acknowledges behavior more than just a stimulus determined. The main goal is to prepare people for shared existence with those who are around. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs represent how growth should influence personality formation. It suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs (A Theory of Human Motivation, Maslow 1943). His hierarchy is most often displayed as a pyramid with the basic needs at the very bottom and more advanced needs higher up the pyramid. These are the needs from bottom to top: 1. Physiological- These are the basic human needs such as food, water, shelter, and sleep. Maslow believed these needs are the most instinctive needs in the hierarchy because until these needs are met, other needs become secondary. 2. Security- This level is where an individual feels the need of protection. Security needs are considered important for...

References: About.com. (2013). Hierarchy of Needs. Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm
Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2010). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). San Marcos, CA: Pearson Education.
The Free Dictionary. (2013). Personality. Retrieved from http://thefreedictionary.com/personality
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