Humanistic And Existential Personality

Topics: Psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow Pages: 6 (1056 words) Published: January 14, 2015


Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
Carmen Jimenez, Christin Ferebee, Allina Johnson, and Christopher Bilbrey PSY/405
August 25, 2014
Dr. Seeley

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
Humanistic and existential personality theories are a combination of philosophical doctrine moving towards the psychological realm. The intellects that formed humanistic and existential personality theories are Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Rollo May. Theorists first of their kind to study the human race in an unorthodox method, that limited behaviorist and psychodynamic psychology, and rejected scientific psychology (McLeod, 2007). Humanistic psychologist; Maslow and Rogers study the whole person's inner feelings, self- concept, and their uniqueness in a qualitative method (McLeod, 2007). Humanistic believed; each person has an inner self-determination to evolve and enhance psychologically to become fully human in a conscious state. Maslow created a pyramid with five conative needs called hierarchy of needs. The pyramid represents the lower levels of needs which are basic needs, elevating to the highest level of needs. Each conative needs are physiological, safety, love/belongingness, and esteem must be satisfied to reach the highest level called self-actualization. According to Fields (2013), each level of needs have motivator characteristics (p. 256).Roger's person-centered theory is the concept of formative tendency and actualizing tendency (Field, 2013). Individuals have the free will and self-direct to evolve or enhance to achieve the highest level of personality. Rogers believed in innate and environmental elements shaping behavior, but individuals have the control and intellect to self-direct their behavior. Existential psychologist Rollo May believed people find meaning in their life, but some ultimately lack the courage to control their destiny and lose sight of their freedom to have choices. May believes an individual is responsible for shaping the self. Healthy individuals find the power within to value their existence and redefine their choices to become fully human (Fields, 2013). Humanistic and existential personality theories will be described in detail during the course of this paper by explaining the fundamental elements of each theorist's principles. Analyze how humanistic and existential theories affect individual personalities

Humanistic and existential theories suggest different ways in which an individual is motivated. These motivations serve as triggers for certain parts of an individual’s personality to take over until the end desire is achieved. Maslow created a hierarchy of needs which suggests that individuals work on a stair step pattern to meet human needs and that each need has its own level in the pattern. As the individual meets the basic lower level needs, they move up to the next level. As they move through these needs, they need to use personality traits to achieve each one, possibly even changing their personality trait or characteristic to achieve these needs (Feist, 2013). Existential theorists lean more towards an individual’s free will to determine their own personality and that personalities are not completely predetermined. They more suggest that an individual has the free will to determine what personality they want to have and portrait at any given time throughout life. May, an influential theorist in his own right, suggests that personalities are more driven by emotions such as guilt and anxieties as well as freedoms. Guilt as examined by May comes when an individual has failed at meeting basic human attainment, and a personality change can motivate them to push to higher attainment (Feist, 2013). Freedoms come in the form of action and being. The freedom to act upon needs and motivations and the freedom of being at peace within one’s self. The humanistic and existential theories offer several insights into their...


References: Feist, J. G., (2013) Theories of Personalities. (8th ed.) McGraw-Hill, New York, NY
McLeod, S. A. (2007). Humanism. Retrieved from
http://www.simplypsychology.org/humanistic.html
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