Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Psychology

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Psychology, Abraham Maslow Pages: 4 (1237 words) Published: September 3, 2013
Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality
PSY/250
University of Phoenix

Theories in the field of psychology, more specifically personality, strongly rely on the collection of observational data. These observations are key in the development of certain theories. However, conflicting theories often arise. For that reason, in order to understand personality, different approaches must be studied. The biological approach explains that genes and hormones play a large role in personality development. Biological theorists follow the belief that genetics control personality and rely on thinking rather than feeling (Friedman & Schustack, 2009). On the other hand, humanistic approaches find self-actualization, spirituality, and personal responsibility more important. They rely on feelings rather than thought processes. Free will is the key to this approach, which is sometimes considered difficult to scientifically measure (Friedman & Schustack, 2009). Biological and humanistic approaches to personality have greatly supported the understanding of a multitude of aspects of the development of our personalities. These views have provided insight into the influences that affect the growth and uniqueness of psychological traits. The theorists behind humanistic and biological views differ just as much as the theories themselves. Of the many biological and humanistic academics that shaped this field, one humanistic theorist stands out from the rest. Abraham Maslow, an American professor of Psychology, believed that every human being is comprised of an instinctive drive for personal growth. With this belief he created a pyramid called the Hierarchy of Needs, which consists of progressing levels of human needs. Maslow explained that a person must meet the basic needs at the bottom of the pyramid before they can advance to the next levels. The peak of the pyramid, or final need, is self-actualization. This climax is defined as “a complete understanding of who...

References: Friedman, H. S. & Schustack, M. W. (2009). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (4th Ed.). Boston: Pearson/Allyn & Bacon.
Heffner, C. (2001, April 1). Motivation and Emotion. All Psych Online. Florida: Heffner Media Group. Retrieved from http://allpsych.com/psychology101/motivation.html.
Maslow, A. H. (1987). Motivation and Personality (3rd Ed.). New York: Harper & Row. Retrieved from http://www.chaight.com/Wk%2015%20E205B%20Maslow%20-%20Human%20Motivation.pdf.
Maslow, A. H. (1969). Toward a Humanistic Biology. Vol. 24(8). 724-735. US: American Psychological Association. Retrieved from http://psycnet.apa.org/journals/amp/24/8/724.pdf.
McLeod, S. A. (2007). Carl Rogers. Simply Psychology. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/carl-rogers.html.
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