Humanist Psychology

This is mainly from an excerpt of an article I found from my old Anthro notes.

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). Humanistic psychologist. Sigmund Freud studied sick people, Maslow thought we should also study Healthy people.

“The self-actualized person works toward a life that is challenging, productive, and meaningful.”

He found that those who live productive and rich lives are

  • Self-aware and self-accepting
  • Open and spontaneous
  • Loving and caring
  • Not paralyzed by others’ opinions (DGF)
  • Focused on a particular task they often see as a mission
  • Involved in a few deep relationships, not many superficial ones.
  • Likely to have been moved by personal peak experiences that surpass ordinary consciousness I don’t understand this one

These mature adult qualities, wrote Maslow, are found in those who have

  • Acquired enough courage to be unpopular
  • Discovered their calling
  • Learned enough in life to be compassionate
  • Outgrown any mixed feelings about their parents
  • Are “secretly uneasy about the cruelty, meanness, and mob spirit so often found in young people” (Shultz & Shultz, 2000)

Carl Rogers

  • Believed that we should be nice and accepting to everyone

How does Freud’s ideas hold up in light of modern research?

He was right about

  • Childhood experiences shaping personality
  • Mental life is in large part unconscious
  • We struggle with inner conflicts

He was wrong about

  • Sex is the basis of personality development
  • Personality is developed only during childhood
  • Peer influence is more important than he said
  • Parental influence is less important than he said
  • Memory and gender identity info also fails

Freud studied a very small, specialized group of people. He is, however, still a badass.

What is the Humanistic Perspective? Psychology should be based on:

  • Conscious experience
  • Free-will
  • Creativity
  • Studying healthy people

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