Humanistic Psychology Assignment Paper

Humanistic Psychology Assignment

Humanistic Psychology Assignment

Humanistic psychology has a rich history and tradition of arguing for the human experience as the essence of understanding human behavior. This basis for understanding is divergent from the views in cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Based on your readings, what do you believe is the place of humanistic psychology as a movement within the discipline of psychology? Explain. What observations can you offer about the movement’s credibility among members of the psychological community? What has contributed to how humanistic psychology is perceived within the larger discipline? Explain.

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Read Chapters 1 and 2.



Kriz, J., & Langle, A. (2012). A European perspective on the position papers. Psychotherapy49(4), 475–479.



Felder, A. J., Aten, H. M., Neudeck, J. A., Shiomi-Chen, J., & Robbins, B. D. (2014). Mindfulness at the heart of existential-phenomenology and humanistic psychology: A century of contemplation and elaboration. Humanistic Psychologist42(1), 6–23.



McDonald, M., & Wearing, S. (2013). A reconceptualization of the self in humanistic psychology: Heidegger, Foucault and the sociocultural turn. Journal of Phenomenological Psychology44(1), 37–59


Humanistic psychology has a rich history and tradition of arguing for the human experience as the essence of

understanding human behavior. This basis for understanding is divergent from the views in cognitive psychology, psychoanalysis and behaviorism. Based on your readings, what do you believe is the place of humanistic psychology as a movement within the discipline of psychology? Explain. What observations can you offer about the movement’s credibility among members of the psychological community? What has contributed to how humanistic psychology is perceived within the larger discipline? Explain.

Read Chapters 1 and 2.

URL: handbook-of-humanistic-psychology_theory-research-and-practice_ebook_2e.php


Kriz, J., & Langle, A. (2012). A European perspective on the position papers.



Humanistic Theory Sample Essay

Humanist, humanistic theory, and humanism are psychological approaches that aim to study the structure of the whole person pinpointing the various uniquenesses found in each person. The psychological approach aims to investigate and comprehend why human beings pose certain behavioral attributes in various circumstances. The theory offers an explanation of the behavioral counts of the human beings based on the unique attributes that a human being possesses that separates each person. The following write-up will offer close study to the discoveries made from the humanistic theory, along with the latest developments in the theory that continually justify as to why human pose various behavioral differences.

Humanism is a psychological standpoint that studies the entire human being. The study emphasizes on the human behavior not only through the person observing the behavior but also through the individual portraying the behavior. The theory may sometimes be termed as being phenomenological, meaning that the personality under scrutiny is from the point of reference of the person’s subjective experiences (Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning,645). Humanism is hugely imperative in the study of the human behavior because it does not focus on the behavior, consciousness, or the thinking process of the individual or the workability of the human brain. The humanistic theory places emphasis on learning how a certain individual perceives and construes the events in question. There is a huge proportionality of the theory that directs application of the psychology towards the self, which is important is understanding the varied behavior displayed by humans.

The inception of the theory followed after certain psychologists expressed profound limitations of the psychodynamic and behaviorist theories. The limitations of the behaviorist perspective to study the human behavior were that the theory focused on reinforcing the stimulus-response performance and that the theory was hugely dependent on animal research. Humanist psychology faulted the psychodynamic theory in that the latter was deterministic, offering unconscious instinctive and irrational forces that influenced the human behavioral and thought process. Over the 1970s and the 1980s, the humanistic theory of approach to the human behavior expanded tremendously, and its impacts could easily be understood through various ways. The theory presented the users with a broad approach to more efficient methods to enable the professional study and understanding of the human behavior (Fiske, 286). Additionally, the theory offered an increased horizon of the inquiry methods that necessitated the study of the human behavioral aspects. More so, the humanism theory presented a new set of values that would be used to investigate and comprehend the nature of human beings through their behavioral conditions (Fiske, 290).

The central existential operational assumption of the theory is that all the human beings have free will. The free will of the human being under study is termed as a personal agency. Through the personal agency, there is an explanation of the choices we make, the ways we chose to walk and the results and consequences of our actions (Scholl, 315). An additional assumption used to try and understand the human behavior is that people operate through and innate need to be good and makes themselves and the world better. The theory perceives the human being as being noble, together with being optimistic that the human behavior portrays itself in a struggle to overcome despair, pain, and hardships. Self-actualization is a central motive among humans, and the theory expresses that people behave in ways that reflect fulfillment and personal growth. In meaning, every human being thrives on growing psychosomatically and enhancing themselves while seeking satisfaction from life (Scholl, 118). Humanism rejects scientific psychology as a means of comprehending the varied human behaviors. This is because the central factors component to the humanistic theory is the consciousness experiences of the person, which are subjective. Hence, the objective reality has lesser meaning to the person as compared to the subjective perception of the individual towards the world.

Darren is a mellow guy and loved by everyone, which is why when he is arrested for destroying property and injuring people in a mob, his family and friends are surprised. Explain his behavior.

To all people, Darren is a darling, and his behavior is the best example there is, at least according to his family and friends. The family would never associate Darren with property destruction and human injuries at a mob. To them, their Darren is incapable of such violence, let alone mob engagements. Using the humanistic theory to approach Darren’s behavior, there is the unseen need of self-actualization in Darren that no one in his family and friends circle can recognize. He has perfected the outward expression as being lovable and mellow for the outward appearance. To the family and friends, there is the satisfaction that Darren is most content as being mellow; hence, the easy interpretation that he is lovable and incapable of harming anyone or destroying property. However, the humanistic approach focuses also on the perception of the individual portraying the specific behavior. Darren participated in the mob activity as a directive towards self-actualization. His quest to seek what he feels he is missing from his life drove him to the mob. By engaging in the mob, he thought he would seek that missing link he feels would lead to self- satisfaction. Understanding that Darren is not content with being mellow and lovable to the family and friends may be imperative especially to the family to come to terms with Darren’s behavior. His behavior models a distraught reaction to the world, subjecting himself in activities that he feels will avail him the needed satisfaction.

Works Cited    

Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning: 1. New York: Springer, 2012. Print.

Fiske, Susan T, Daniel T. Gilbert, Gardner Lindzey, and Arthur E. Jongsma. Handbook of Social Psychology. Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2010. Print.

Scholl, Mark B., A. Scott McGowan, and James T. Hansen, eds. Humanistic perspectives on contemporary counseling issues. Routledge, 2013.

AP Psychology Assignment Questions – Humanistic Psychology Assignment

  1.  In five to seven sentences, explain how you perceive yourself.  Describe how you see your “real” self.

To begin with, I perceive myself as hardworking and conscientious. My work is usually a priority for me and I attempt to put my best efforts into it. One of my best abilities is to be able to use technology. I enjoy researching and dealing with different technological ideas and am always willing to learn more. Along with my interests in science and technology are video making and composing music. Editing and directing are my primary interests, and I view myself as a decent movie producer. Composing music has always been a hobby of mine since I am sufficient at the piano. While I have yet to compose a song that actually enjoy, I perceive myself as rather skilled at the piano. As a person, I believe myself to be kind and friendly. I tend to accept others for who they are and reserve all judgment. Of course, this is not always possible.

  1. In five to seven sentences, explain how you would describe your “ideal” self.

Sometimes, I feel as if I value my opinion more than others. That being said, I would like my ideal self to take into consideration everyone’s opinion and be more open-minded. My ideal self would also be more creative and innovative. I would like to be able to come up with new ways to help the problems in the world, methods that are efficient and helpful. Physically, I would love to be taller. Six foot would be ideal, but any extra height would be great. I’m a bit on the shorter side, which I don’t mind too much, but gaining extra height would be a bonus. Finally my ideal self would also have perfect vision, because I hate being dependent on another source everyday just to see. I actually think I look better with glasses, but being reliant on something that can easily break or get lost is quite a setback.

  1. In three to five sentences, compare and contrast your “real” self and “ideal” self.

In many ways, my ideal self is quite similar to my real self. I would like my ideal self to be intelligent and hardworking and I feel as if I have reached that stage already. My ideal self would also have a wide range of talents, which I somewhat have. Movie production and composing music are two extra talents I have, but I have always wanted my ideal self to be decent at karate or fencing, the latter of which I’m hoping to start soon. Finally, my ideal self would be much taller than I am now, which could still be a possibility.

  1. In three to five sentences, explain what the humanistic perspective would say about your findings.  Explain possibilities for why there may not be a complete overlap for each self.

The humanistic perspective would most likely say that I perceive the world as positive. There are only two or three factors of my ideal self that have not lined up with my real self. The possibility for the incomplete overlap is most likely due to my tendency to be close-minded and my narrow interests. My real self is also often harsh on myself when I do not achieve what I desire, but my ideal self would hope to improve that. As a whole, I feel as if my real and ideal selves have overlapped quite a bit. I am sure that in the near future they will overlap even more.


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