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Humanistic Theory vs. Social-Congnitive Theory

By beccaboo0718 Sep 13, 2009 499 Words
Humanistic Theory vs. Social-Cognitive Theory

Rebecca Chaplin


In this paper, I am going to compare and contrast the two personality theories humanistic and social-cognitive. These two theories are not generally paired up when comparing and contrasting personality theories because they are very different. I am going to compare and contrast these two because I find them the most interesting of all the personality theories. Let us start with the definitions of humanistic and social-cognitive theories. Humanistic is defined as individuals being motivated by free-will. The definition of social-cognitive theory is where individuals learn through observation, values and expectations are the main reasons for a person behavior. As you can see these two theories are very different in definition. The humanistic theory is one in which individuals are reality based and there is only concern for the here and now rather than looking at the past or trying to predict the future. To humanist, people are not controlled by their environment. Individuals that are humanistic are very reality based. They take responsibility for their own actions. They also believe that every individual is worth something regardless of their race or ethnicity. A humanistic individual’s main goal in life is to always achieve personal growth and understanding. Humanists believe they should be all that they can be. They believe this is the only way they can be happy. A social-cognitive individual’s main goal in life is to focus on cognitive processes. A person that is a social-cognitive is concerned with the outcome of any event in their lives. They want to know what is going to happen to them when a situation occurs. They believe that behavior cannot be predicted from knowledge of a situation alone though. Social-cognitive learn about what may happen to them by watching other individuals and seeing what happens to them. They observe through either tv, reading, or even by sitting a watching people. Social-cognitive theorists also believe that a situation is not only determined by the situation around the individual but also what the individual believes the outcome of a situation will be. Humanist and social-cognitive are different in many aspects. Humanist believe they are in total control of their lives and their environment has no control over what happens to them while social-cognitive believe that their lives are already planned out. Social cognitive individuals also believe that their environment and thinking plays a large role in their lives. On another side, humanistic theory and social-cognitive theory have similarities. Both humanistic and social-cognitive believe that life can be changed. They also both believe that their behaviors reflect who they are. It is very difficult to compare and contrast to completely different personality theories. All personality traits are different but they can be compared in one way or another. The previous writing was just two of the many types of personality traits that can be compared and contrasted.

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