Research on self and evaluation of humanistic approach by mili aggarwal
Research On Self
Roger’s theories gave the central position to self ,which lead to research on
self-concept in order to understand the self more. Two of the studies main
1.Development of self-esteem
2.Role of self verification and self enhancement motives
• Self esteem –how positively or how negatively we feel about ourselves
or in other words how we looks towards ourselves .
• Self esteem is a very important aspect of personal ,well-being ,
happiness and adjustment.
• Adult Men and Women self-esteem do not differ much in overall level
of self-esteem measure.
• The largest self difference occurs from age 15 to 18 years, where boys
hold’s higher self-esteem than girls of the same age .
• Level of self esteem is stable over the life-span with correlations of
0.50 to 0.70 from childhood to old-age.
EG. A boy ,While studying for his history exam ,he I am never going to score
well, my father is right..i am just like him.. “a loser” ..distracted from his
studies he looks at his skinny legs and he says to himself. "I bet the football
coach won't even let me try out when he sees what a wimp I am.“
While another friend of him studying for the same history test as Steve, and
he's also not too fond of the subject. But that's where the similarity ends.
Julio has a completely different outlook. He's more likely to think, "OK,
history again, what a pain. Thank goodness I'm acing the subject I really love
— math." And when Julio thinks about the way he looks, it's also a lot more
positive. Although he is shorter and skinnier than Steve, Julio is less likely to
blame or criticize his body and more likely to think, "I may be skinny, but I
can really run. I'd be a good addition to the football team.“
HIGH SELF ESTEEM
• High self-esteem is attributed to the positive behavior and life
• People with high self esteem are1. Happier with life. Eg. Content and Satisfied.
2. Have fewer interpersonal problems
3. Achieve at higher and consistent level
4. Less susceptible to social pressures
5. Capable of forming satisfying love relationships
• Poor self images-experiences negative moods in response to
perceived failures in life.
• Prone to psychological disorders-anxiety and depression.
• Prone to physical illnesses.
• Poor social relationships
• Very reactive to ups and down
• Understanding the self-esteem with a study15 Working couples completed a daily dairy and mood rating during a
three-wee period. Low self-esteem men and women felt more loved
and accepted by their spouses on the days when they enjoyed
professional successes, but less loved and accept on the days of
The people with high self-esteem were not affected in this manner.
CONDITIONS WHICH FOSTERS THE
DEVELOPMENT OF HIGH SELF-ESTEEM
• Parents plays an important role in the development of higher selfesteem among their children.
• The fact which result in higher self-esteem among children are:
1. Unconditional love and acceptance from parents
2. Giving freedom to express opinions and make decisions within the
guidelines established by parents
3. Success in achieving positive outcomes builds a sense that one is an
4. Positive feedbacks from the loved ones.
5. Positive reinforcement and encouragement
• Self verification is a need to confirm the self-concept.
• This can be best understood with help of two studies:
1. Researcher asked the college students to describe themselves in order to
measure their self-concept. Then the students were made to interact
with another bunch of people and received fake feedback from them in
form of adjectives. Later, when the student was asked to identify the
adjectives attributed to them ,they showed a greater recall for selfconsistent adjectives.
2. Self-Verification needs are expressed in people’s tendency to seek out
self-confirming relationships: researchers found that if people with firmly
held negative self-views marry spouses who appraise the favorably ,they
tend to eventually withdraws from the marriage. Such people are more
likely to remain with the spouses who agrees with the negative images
they have about themselves . while a person with positive self-concept
prefers spouses who share positive views about themselves.
• A strong and prevalent tendency to gain and preserve a positive self image.
• Many people have a tendency to attribute their failures to environmental
factors while success to their own capabilities and talents.
• People rate themselves as better than average on virtually any socially
desirable characteristic that is subjective in nature
• Eg1-businessmen and politicians rate themselves as more ethical than
• Eg.2-people who have been hospitalized for accidents rates themselves as
better than average
• These positive illusions are the rules rather than the exception in the well
adjusted people and this attributes to their psychological wellbeing.
• It has been found in studies that individual with low self-esteem have
stronger tendency to seek positive feedback even if it is not self-verifying.
• Even when it is seen that self-enhancement is something everyone look’s
for ,still so many people hold’s low self-esteem because although they
desires positive self-enhancing feedback from other, but doesn’t provide
much of the internal positive feedback to themselves.
• In an experimental study where the low self-esteem individuals showed the
same level of improvement on a laboratory scale as did the high
self-esteem individuals ,they viewed themselves as improving far less.
Judged even more harshly when performance decreased.
EVALUATION OF HUMANISTIC
APPROACH: can be measured and its laws can be tested.
• Roger’s theories concepts
• Pioneered the process of self-growth that can occur in a psychotherapy.
• To assess the effectiveness of the psychotherapy , they measured the discrepancy
between the client’s real and ideal self . before therapy-high discrepancy but
after therapy-low discrepancy –making client more self-accepting and realistic.
• Also uncovered the therapist characteristics that either aid or impede the process
of self-actualization in therapy.
• Humanistic psychology is holistic in nature: it takes whole persons into account
rather than their separate traits or processes.(address unquiness)
• Humanistic psychology focuses on subjective experiences as opposed to fixed,
forced, definitive factors that determine behavior. This allows for a personality
concept that is dynamic and fluid and accounts for much of the change a person
experiences over a lifetime.
• Humanistic psychology stresses the importance of free will and thus, personal
responsibility for decision-making.
• lack of empirical evidence used in research
• Relies heavily on self-report.
• subjective nature of the study, psychologists still worry about the
falsifiability of the humanistic approach
• The holistic approach allows for much variation but does not identify
enough constant variables in order to be researched with true accuracy.
• impact of society on personality development.
• The presence of such a dynamic view of personality also does not seem to
account for apparent continuity in individual personality over time.
• does not explain the presence of deviance(the fact or state of departing
from usual or accepted standards) within normal individuals