Humanistic/Existential Perspective of Personality
December 3, 2012
Humanistic/Existential perspective of personality
I would like to summarize the strengths of both the humanistic and existential perspectives of personality. This will focus on strengths and examples of personalities using these theories. Both of these perspectives are part of a progressive and positive attempt to resolve upset and inhibiting behaviors to uncover the better person hiding within. To analyze the strengths of any perspective you have to break down the theory into its strengths and weaknesses. Abraham Maslow has a humanistic theory that is based around self-actualization. This self – actualization is the main part of the theory that envelopes the lower level necessities such as love, safety, esteem and hunger (Feist & Feist, 2009). We need these to survive in a strong positive manner and also to reach the ultimate goal of self – actualization.
Maslow felt that other theories did not adequately understand the humanity and psychological health of a person.
Maslow has a hierarchy of needs that describes and defines the basic necessities that people need to be the best they can be. This hierarchy consists of five stages of needs, the first is physiological which is the most basic of human needs and consists of the air we breathe, the food we eat, water we drink and maintaining our bodies peak performance levels. The second step is safety, by safety there is coverage of physical security such as a home and stability but also our safe relationships and a certain level of liberty from disasters, dangers and upset. The third step is love and belonging which is our innate need for love, friendship, companionship and over all acceptances. The fourth step is esteem which is something we give ourselves and constitutes our worth in our own eyes and others. The fifth step is self – actualization needs that include values of moral impact and
References: Andrew, J. (1989). Integrating visions of reality. Interpersonal diagnosis and the existential vision, 5(44), 803-817. Feist, J., & Feist, G. (2009). Theories of personality (7th Ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill. Mayer, J. (2003). Structural Divisions of Personality and the classification of traits. Review of general psychology, 4(7), 381-401.