Humanistic psychology   maslow draft 1 2011
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Themes and Issues in Psychology

Themes and Issues in Psychology

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Humanistic psychology   maslow draft 1 2011 Humanistic psychology maslow draft 1 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • Humanistic Psychology: Maslow (Essential reading: Glassman and Hadad 2004 – Chapter 6 or some equivalent text.)
    • Funder, D. (2010) The Personality Puzzle
  • What is a ‘theoretical approach’?
    • An assumption about the aspects of a person worthy of study …
    • … which determines a ‘model’ of what people are like.
    • This model determines:
      • Views on the nature of development.
      • Preferred methods of study.
      • The nature of ‘normality’.
      • The causes of ‘abnormality.
    (Gross 2003: p313)
  • Objectives of this session?
    • Provide an overview of the theories of Abraham Maslow (as one of the two primary theorists of Humanistic Psychology).
    • Evaluation of his ideas.
    • Communicate to you the ‘power’ and the positive perspective of his theories.
  • Why is this important?
    • One of the central disciplines or approaches of psychology.
    • Key cultural response to earlier more restrictive or negative views of psychology.
    • Links with developments in research methods in the 1970s onwards, and the emergence of ‘Positive Psychology’.
  • Why is this important? (2)
    • Humanistic Psychology is unique in psychological approaches in its emphasis on subjective experience.
    • Humanistic psychology is an approach which speaks to the positive and optimistic within us … the potential for it to be a ‘healing’ perspective.
  • The central insight…
    • … ‘ of humanistic psychology is that one’s conscious experience of the world (…) is psychologically more important than the world itself’.
    • “ It is not the things in themselves that trouble us, but our opinions of things”
        • Funder 2010: p475
  • And an ‘existential perspective’:
    • Why am I here?
    • What should I be doing?
        • Funder 2010: p478
  • Three core assumptions
    • Phenomenology is central
    • People have free will.
    • People are basically good.
        • Funder 2010: p482
  • Background:
    • Psychology in the 1950s dominated by:
      • Behaviourism.
      • Psychoanalysis.
      • Many considered these approaches either limited or negative.
    • Humanistic Psychology was a cultural ‘reaction’ to these circumstances, and called a ‘Third Force’ to contrast with these other two approaches.
  • Background (2)
    • Other labels or titles used?
      • Phenomenological psychology.
      • Existential Psychology.
    • Two key assumptions:
      • “ Behaviour must be understood in terms of the subjective experience of the individual.”
      • “ Behaviour is not constrained by past experience or current circumstances.” (Individuals can make choices based on their subjective assessment.)
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p254 / 5).
  • Background (3)
    • Both of these assumptions contrast with those of determinism, and the irrelevance of subjective experience present in other views of psychology at the time.
    • Humanistic psychology argues that subjective experience is central to our humanity, and that it can be studied scientifically.
  • Background (4)
    • For example: Any observation that can be agreed on by two or more people is valid.
      • “ Inter-subjective verification”.
    • The focus on subjective experience extends to that of ‘meaning’ – “the purpose or value that a person attaches to their actions and behaviour”
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p256).
  • Background (5)
    • Why did the focus on ‘meaning’ emerge at that time?
      • Individuals dealing with the personal experiences of World War II.
    • “ If we accept that subjective experience is relevant to understanding behaviour we cannot ignore the value people place on their experiences”.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p256).
  • Background (6)
    • The concepts of ‘self-actualisation’ and the actualising tendency have their roots in Aristotelian thought?
    • “ The individual is (...) understood as a being constantly driven forward by a dynamic principle, toward that which is better or more perfect.”
      • (Jorgensen and Nafstad 2004: p21)
  • Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Self-Actualization
  • Abraham Maslow: 1908 - 1970
    • Key points?
      • Psychoanalysis dealt with unobservable phenomena which can’t be measured objectively.
      • But also saw people as the product of environment and unconscious forces.
      • Humanistic psychology goes beyond this. Conscious processes should be studied. Along with positive states, such as love and kindness, not just pathology.
        • Martin ‘et al’ (2010: p32)
  • Why did ‘self actualisation’ appear at this point in time?
    • Economic changes after WWII.
      • Many of society had economic needs ‘met’.
      • Individuals looking for purpose and meaning.
    • Cold War. Fears for future. A real expectation of further (nuclear) war. Psychological reaction to see and find the ‘good’ and potential?
  • Background
    • Working at approximately the same time as Carl Rogers.
    • World War II appeared to emphasize how little psychology had contributed to solving social problems.
    • “… he rejected the gloomy determinism of Freud…”
    • Wanted to focus on ‘real world’ issues.
    • “ To oversimplify the matter somewhat, it is as if Freud supplied to us the sick half of psychology, and we must now fill it out with the healthy half”.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p271/2).
  • Background (2)
    • “ And so we find another kind of resistance, a denying of our best side, of our talents, of our finest impulses, of our highest potentialities, of our creativeness. In brief this is the struggle against our own greatness, the fear of hubris.
      • (Maslow 1968)
    • “ We shouldn’t have to say ‘Humanistic Psychology’ – the adjective should be unnecessary”. (Hall 1968).
    • His focus became describing and understanding human potential.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p271/2).
  • Background (3)
    • “ From our point of view, Freud’s greatest discovery is that the great cause of much psychological illness is the fear of knowledge of oneself – of emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities, of one’s destiny.”
  • Maslow: Background
    • Born in 1908.
    • Eldest of 7 children.
    • Initially studied law.
    • University of Wisconsin: BA in 1931; MA in 1931; PhD in 1934. Started out studying behaviourism.
    • 1935 moved to Columbia University in New York.
  • Hierarchy of Needs (Levels 1 – 4 are ‘deficiency’ needs)
  • Motivation and the Hierarchy of Needs
    • Hierarchy of needs:
      • Core of Maslow’s theory.
      • A constellation or continuum of basic human needs which influence every aspect of our state.
      • A hierarchical structure:
        • Physiological (food, water, air, sleep).
        • Safety (freedom from danger, stability, order).
        • Love and belonging (acceptance and affection).
        • Esteem (a feeling of self respect and competence)
        • Self-actualization
      • 1 – 4 are ‘deficiency motives’.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p272 / 3.)
  • Hierarchy of Needs:
    • The hierarchy reflected the complexity of motivation.
    • Maslow is reported to have seen the needs as sequential in content and in time .
      • E.g. Imagine the unfolding experience of a baby or child, and you might see this sequence.
    • Saw us as responding homeostatically to these needs.
    • Deficit needs – if the need is not satisfied, you act; if you are satisfied, you feel nothing.
      • The needs are built in to us, genetically. A drive to health.
  • Hierarchy of Needs:
    • If there is a significant problem at one level of need, we might become ‘fixated’ during the lifespan.
    • Self-actualisation as a need is not homeostatic. The more of it we have, the more we want.
    • Hierarchical concept implicitly limits self-actualisation. I.e. It only emerges when other needs are met. (Contrast with Rogers who implies it is constant.)
  • Hierarchy of Needs Glassman and Hadad 2004: p275 Interactions and Needs of Behaviour Need Means of satisfying Effect of deprivation Pathology associated with need Physiological Hunger – eat a meal Malnutrition, illness Over-eating? Anorexia? Safety Get a good job. Anxiety. Insecurity. Love and belonging Fall in live. Join a club. Loneliness Antisocial personality Esteem Receive praise Feeling inferior or worthless Depression Self-actualisation Creative work Helping others Boredom. Life meaningless? Cynicism. Alienation
  • Motivation and the Hierarchy of Needs (2)
    • “ The more basic the need, the more powerfully it is experienced, the harder it is to ignore or suppress.”
    • The higher needs are experienced when the lower ones are met.
    • ‘ Self-Actualization’ is a ‘meta-need’ or growth motive / desire to grow which is part of all life.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p273 / 4).
  • Motivation and the Hierarchy of Needs (3)
    • Our needs – and our experience of them – affect all of our life and development.
    • “ Different needs may vary in intensity across individuals, and more than one need can be experienced at a given time”.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p275).
  • Motivation and the Hierarchy of Needs (4)
    • “ Maslow believed an individual has a responsibility to strive for growth and self-actualization, regardless of circumstances.”
    • “ Self-actualization is not simply a natural unfolding, but an active process that often involves making choices and overcoming obstacles.”
  • Origin of the concept of ‘self-actualisation’?
    • Aristotle?
      • Argued that ‘happiness’ is ‘the state of mind in which men realise themselves and flourish best’.
      • “ We must not listen to those who urge us to think human thoughts since we are human, and mortal thoughts, since we are mortal; rather, we should as far as possible immortalise ourselves and do all we can to live by the finest elements in us ...”
        • Barnes 2000: p3
  • What is Self-Actualization?
    • “ Using our capacities to the fullest.”
    • A drive to actualize our capacities, present in every organism.
    • “ Capacities clamour to be used” (Maslow)
    • Might involve an increase in tension as we attempt to master new circumstances, or to grow.
    • Only 1% experience self-actualization?
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p276/7).
  • Origins of Maslow’s views?
    • Where did Maslow get his examples?
    • Initially two only!
    • Expanded to 18 – 9 historical and 9 contemporary.
    • People who provided the “best possible indicator of what it means to fulfil one’s potential”
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p278 / 9).
  • Peak Experiences?
    • A separate element of Maslow’s theory.
    • An experience of “deep intensity in which we feel ourselves most fully alive”. A feeling of rapture, and fully awake.
      • E.g. Love, sport, climbing, mystical experiences.
    • Likely to be short lived, and come and go unexpectedly.
    • A glimpse of self-actualization.
    • Distinct or different from everyday living.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p276 / 7).
  • Characteristics of self-actualized people? (Summary only)
    • Efficient perception of reality.
    • Acceptance of self, others and the world.
    • Spontaneity and naturalness.
    • Problem-centred.
    • Need for privacy.
    • Freshness of experience.
    • Forming attitudes and values independently.
    • Independence from cultural and environmental influences.
    • Mystical or ‘peak experiences’.
    • Kinship with others.
    • Depth of relationships.
    • Democratic attitudes.
    • Philosophical. Humour.
    • Creativity.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p279).
  • Other Models of positive development?: ‘The Big Five’
    • Openness:
      • To experience; curiosity; divergent thinking, active imagination.
    • Conscientiousness:
      • Self-discipline and control. Determined, planned, organised.
    • Extraversion:
      • Sociable, optimistic, friendly, assertive.
    • Agreeableness:
      • Trusting, helpful, soft-hearted, sympathetic.
    • Neuroticism:
      • Emotional stability and personal adjustment.
    • Hierarchical modul. Each of the 5 has 6 subordinate traits.
    • Remember, these are continuum, so the opposites may also apply on assessment.
    (Maltby et al 2007: p176/7.)
  • Other Models of positive development?: ‘Values in Action Classification of Virtues and Strengths’
    • Wisdom and Knowledge:
      • Creativity
      • Curiosity
      • Open-mindedness
      • Love of learning.
      • Perspective
    • Courage
      • Bravery
      • Persistence
      • Integrity
      • Vitality
    • Humanity
      • Love
      • Kindness
      • Social Intelligence
  • Other Models of positive development?: ‘Values in Action Classification of Virtues and Strengths’
    • Justice
      • Citizenship
      • Fairness
      • Leadership
    • Temperance
      • Forgiveness
      • Humility
      • Prudence
      • Self-regulation
    • Transcendence
      • Appreciation of beauty.
      • Gratitude.
      • Hope
      • Humour
      • Spirituality
  • Evaluating Maslow’s Theories?
    • He focused on ‘healthy’ people as offering the best possible indicator.
    • He sought common characteristics.
    • He was offering an ‘ideal’ that no-one could fulfil?
    • Self-actualization as a process not an outcome. I.e. It is not static.
  • Evaluating Maslow’s Theories? (2)
    • Did his sample reflect qualities he wanted to find? (Self-fulfilling research?) A reflection of his own values?
    • He viewed his results as independent of culture – and characteristics that stemmed from the essence of being human.
    • “ (His) ideas have proved influential more because of their capacity to inspire than for their empirical foundation”.
    (Glassman and Hadad 2004: p279 / 80).
  • Summary
    • Important to see the emergence of humanistic psychology as a strong cultural and historical reaction, particularly to the more ‘negative’ forms of psychology.
    • Maslow as a ‘visionary’? Someone who could see and argue for the ‘good’ and the ‘possibility’ in us?
  • Summary (2)
    • “ Man does not simply have the characteristics of a machine; he is not simply a being in the grip of unconscious motives; he is a person in the process of creating himself, a person who creates meaning in life, a person who embodies a dimension of subjective freedom”
  • Summary (3)
    • “ He is a figure who, though he may be alone in a vastly complex universe, and though he may be part of that universe and its destiny, is also able to live dimensions of his life which are not fully or adequately contained in a description of his conditioning or unconscious.”
      • (Rogers 1964: p129)
  • How do I become who I am (in “theory”)?
    • “ Behaviourism ”
    • I learn by association.
    • Repetitive experiences
    • shape or even create my
    • response.
    • Intervention in this ‘cycle’
    • is possible to change my /
    • our experience.
    • “ Psychodynamics”
    • (E.g. Freud and Melanie Klein)
    • My ‘unconscious’ profoundly shapes
    • my world and life.
    • I am motivated by instincts and drives
    • such as aggression and sexuality,
    • while also struggling to balance
    • those drives with what society expects.
    • I am likely to live in a state of tension
    • as a result.
    • I have an internalised version of my external
    • experience of the world. This acts as a ‘template’
    • which shapes my relationships and reactions.
    • Humanistic Psychology
    • I have choice. I am motivated by an
    • ‘ actualising’ tendency, to become who
    • I am and the best of who I am.
    • My capacity to grow and be the best
    • of who I am is fundamentally influenced
    • by the ‘regard’ and empathy I receive from
    • others and the extent to which they support
    • my being and becoming who I am.
  • ‘ I ‘ Interior individual ‘ IT ’ Exterior Individual ‘ We ’ Collective Cultural ‘ ITS ’ Social system Environment (Adapted and developed from different writing of Ken Wilber.) Psychodynamics. Instincts. Ego. Id. Intrapersonal. Phenomenology . Self-actualization. Experimental psychology. Cognitive psychology. ‘ Brain’. ‘Organism’. Behaviourism. Interpersonal. Relationships . ‘ Object relations’ theory Group psychology? Family ‘system’. ‘Super ego’? Humanistic psychology . Cross-cultural psychology. ‘ Generalized’ psychology. Organisational psychology. Source of the ‘super ego’?