AQA Psychology (A-Level) - Approaches - The Humanistic Approach
Terms in this set (19)
How does humanistic psychology differ from most other approaches?
Focuses on conscious experience rather than on behaviour, personal responsibility and free will than determinism and on discussion of experience than the use of the experimental method.
Theories in this approach stress people possess full conscious control over their destiny - and have free will. Although, this is not to say were are free to do anything at all, due to our being subjected to other forces, such influences in biology and society. Many humanistic psychologists believe humans are able to make personal choices within the constraints imposed by such other forces.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
The hierarchy of needs is a triangular model divided into five levels that stresses that you must have everything in one level before moving up to the next. This prioritises the significance of personal growth and fulfillment.
This is the highest level in Maslow's hierarchy of needs and he professed that those in this level share specific characteristics, being creative, accepting of others, and having an unbiased, accurate view of the world. He also believed self-actualization occurred in peaks, or peak experiences (moments of high, extreme inspiration and ectasy that all doubts, fears, embarrassments and faux pas, for example, felt like they could be ignored and left behind)
Focus on the self
Rogers claimed people have two basic needs: positive regards from others and a feeling of self worth
Feelings of self worth
What we think about ourselves. Develop in childhood and form as a result of parental interaction. Interactions with 'significant others' (friends, spouse etc.) further influence feelings of self-worth.
What did Rogers believe feelings of self-worth did?
Determining personal psychological health, and are important in doing so. The closer our self-concept and ideal-self are to each other, the greater feelings of self-worth and psychological health are.
In the basic terms, how correlated your perceived self is to your ideal self. Most people display incongruence and it is rare for complete congruence to exist and be exemplified.
How do states of congruence exist?
When there is a similarity between our ideal self and our perceived, real self. Incongruence exists when there is a lack of this.
How do congruence and self-worth relate to each other?
The closer our self-image and ideal self are to each other, the greater the congruence and the higher feelings of self-worth.
How do defence mechanisms come into play?
As most prefer to see themselves in ways that are consistent with their self-image, defence mechanisms may be used in order to feel less threatened between how they would like to be and how they really are.
Conditions of worth
Develop when people undergo conditional positive regard, conditions that they perceive significant others (e.g. parents, spouse) put upon them and have to be in place to be accepted by others and view themselves in a positive light. Inhibit reaching of self-actualization.
Example of conditions of worth
A sense of self-acceptance may be felt only if they meet the expectations that others have set as conditions of acceptance.
Unconditional positive regard
An example is when a person is accepted for who they are or what they do
Conditional positive regard
An example is when a person is accepted only if they do what others want them to do.
How do psychological problems tie in with the approach?
Rogers claimed an individual's psychological problems directly resulted from conditions of worth and the conditional positive regard given from others.
Influence of counselling psychology
He believed with counselling, people would be able to solve their own problems in constructive ways, and move towards becoming a more fully functioning person.
Therapists aid people to understand themselves and open up the ability to achieve self-actualization, through offering a supportive environment.
This results in the client moving towards being more authentic and true to the self, i.e. able to behave in a way that is true to a person they are, rather than the person others want them to be.
Instead of acting in a directive way, regard themselves as 'guides' or 'facilitators' to help people understand themselves and to find methods in which once could enable their potential for self-actualisation.
Provide empathy and unconditional positive regard, expressing their acceptance and understanding, irrespective of feelings and attitudes exhibited by the client.
Doing this, a therapist can offer an appropriately supportive environment to help soften a client's conditions of worth.
Strength - hierarchy of needs is linked to economic development
Strength - research support for conditions of worth with adolescents consistent with a view that those experiencing conditional positive regard are likely to display more false self behaviour
Criticism - limited real-world application
Criticism - culture bias in counselling psychology.