Q. Discuss the essence of the Humanistic model of personality. Also contras it with the Behavioral and the Psychodynamic models of personality. 15 marks

14 thoughts on “Personality”

  1. Humanistic model of psychology focuses on the concept of ‘self’. Self being how the person perceive himself as i.e. his strengths, emotions, experiences, outcomes, desires etc. According to Roger every human being tend to perceive world in his own perspective which can be different from what external reality is. He terms it as ‘phenominal feild’. For example a person after writing exam might find it very difficult and may be exam would have been easier for many. The person without putting enough efforts could have attempted the exam. So unlike other theories where the emphasis is on environment here it is on the reality of self. The driving force for the self is to actualize and become a best version of himself. Maslow has provided a broad hierarchial chart that emphasizes on individual needs which include safety, belongingness, self esteem and self actualization. Self actualization is ultimate stage at which person inner self is completely realized which might occur gradually or suddely. This is similar to gautama buddha attaining nirvana. It makes the person optimistic self less independent and contended.

    The fundamental difference between behavoural and humanistic theories is that the former focussed on learning environment and developed theories by testing on animals like dog is tested by Pavlov. It also disregards the cognitive aspect( considered to some extent in social learning) that we perceive environment differently. The ‘Locus of control’for an individual can be internal or external. Humanistic theory argues that humans are much evolved and the theories on animals are not completely relatable to humans. The concept of phenominal feild emphasizes on the way individual perceive the world. On similar lines dynamic theories focussed on motives like sexual motives by Freud or urge to show the superiority by alfred which emphasize on behaviour driven by outside environment to some extent. Humanistic theory is all about self realisation and self actualization.

    1. Nice performance!
      The essence of humanistic psychology is suitable in theme and so is the comparative analysis of the three models.
      You should try to add some fine details in the answer. Humanistic psychology, for example, freedom, basic goodness, self esteem like concepts should be integrated in the essence of humanistic model.
      Likewise, comparison should be along some common dimensions like what position a theory takes on the dimensions of freedom – determination, heredity – environment, reactive – proactive…
      Please ask about this in the class. I will discuss.

  2. Humanistic model stresses that people’s behaviour is shaped by their unique perspective of the world around them.
    Carl Roger, a famous humanistic, argue that organism strives towards towards maintaining enhancing and actualising itself. So, organism has a strong tendency towards enhancing and actualising potential.

    This perspective started as a reaction and out of dissatisfaction with other perspectives like psychodynamic, behavioural to personality. Humanistic Abraham maslow criticized psycho analysis of being Pessimistic and negative and behaviour theories for being mechanistic.

    Both Rogers’s and Maslow’s theories focus on individual choices and do not believe that biology is deterministic.
    Humanistic argues that these perspectives do not recognize the depth and meaning of human experience, and fail to recognize the innate capacity for self-directed change and transforming personal experiences. 
    In contrast, to psychodynamic perspective which stresses on internal drive and behaviour perspective which stresses to external stimuli, humanistic perspective stresses on – to which extends people exercise free will and voluntarily direct their own lives.

    1. Impressive precision in the answer…!
      You should add and elaborate some central points in more detail to make your answer adequate enough to match with 15marks.

  3. Humanistic model of personality : This model of personality led emphasis on personal responsibility and innate tendencies towards personal growth. These theories are given by Carl Rogers and Abraham Marlow. Carls Rogers in his theory emphasized that human beings strive throughout their life in becoming fully functioning persons. Abraham Maslow gave a concept of need hierarchy. Human need exists in hierarchy ranging from physiological need on the bottom, safety needs, social needs, esteem needs and finally self-actualization needs at the top.

    Behavior perspective: This perspective Is also known as interactionist perspective. This perspective view that behavior in any situation is a function of both personality and external factors. According to Friedman our behavior in any given situation is usually a complex function of both our personality( the stable internal factor that make us unique individuals) and situational factors in the world around us. For instance, a Helpful woman may refuse to help if the situation is not as per her values.

    Psychodynamic perspective : In psychodynamic perspective Freud emphasized on four topics of personality that is level of consciousness, the structure of personality, anxiety and defence mechanism and psychosexual stage of development.

    Therefore, Humanistic theory emphasized on personal responsibility and growth whereas behavior perspective emphasized on personality and external factors which has impact on behavior. And psychodynamic perspective emphasized on unconscious desires which are repressed and may cause some psychological problems in adulthood.

    1. Discuss briefly and focus on the essence only. What has been said is more important thing that who has said that. See my comments to other answers

  4. The main essence of humanistic model of personality lies in ACTUALIZATION OF “SELF.” Two psychologist who played a crucial role in this model are Rogers and Maslow . A/c to Rogers , a person has a free will that creates an image of his ideal self,which in turn requires unconditional positive regard to get actualized . Any incroguity between ideal self and regard may lead to self discrepancies.

    Whereas,Maslow stated that any deficit in a life of a person stimulates motivation in him. Here,the satisfaction of one deficit pushes him to another level of need hierarchy i.e., physiological,safety, belongingness,self esteem and last one being self actualization.

    As humanistic model says,”a person is good as long as there self concepts are positive. Humanistic model contradicts with behavioral and psychodynamic model in several ways :-


    1.Objectivity v/s free will :
    Behaviorist believed in data which is objective and can be observed by everyone. On the other hand, humanists believed in free inner will.

    2.Model V/s ideal self
    In observational learning theory , behaviorist talk about vicarious reinforcement which motivates the person to imitate the model in order to receive same reinforcement. In humanistic , realization of ideal self motivates a person.

    3.Locus of control V/s self actualization
    People in behaviorist model may believe they are controlled by forces beyond their control. And opposite happens in humanists.


    1.Adulthood v/s childhood
    Humanists emphasised on adult,their perception and desire to reach full potential. Freud talks about psycho sexual stages of development at childhood which governs personality.
    Other neo-freudian’s theories also evolved around childhood experience.

    2. Unconscious dynamics v/s actualization
    Psychodynamics says that human behavior is manifestation of unconscious desires . But humanists talk about conscious desire to be actualized .

    Psychodynamics formulated a single theory which is to govern all the individuals. Humanist talk about imdividual’s different perception and self potentials to change .

    1. I appreciate your efforts!
      You however should structure the ideas briefly. Answer directly. Several points are not required. Just be precise. Keep practicing. It will help you improve your answer.

  5. The essence of the humanistic model lies in the “positive potential” of human beings. It focuses on things which make people “unique” such as the freedom to choose one’s own destiny and ability to interpret experiences in his/her own perspective. This unique ability shapes the personality of a person.
    Both Maslow and Roger believed that human beings are continuously striving to fulfill their inner capacities and to become the ‘best’ within their genetic potential. This inner drive is called self actualizing tendency. Development of ”self concept”is an important tool in acctualizing true capabilities.
    The idea of self concept is based on the words and actions of near and dear one’s and how these words gets reflected in the image of self.
    Roger also introduced another important tool that is ‘unconditional positive regard’ or love, affection and respect without any conditions to be necessary for people to explore fully what all they can achieve .

    In contrast the behavioral model assumes that personality is nothing but a set of learned responses or ”habits” which have become automatic. It completely denies that something is inside and focusses on responses to external environmental stimulus to be the determinant of behaviour. In this regard behaviorist developed many learning theories which promises to programme human behaviour in a desired manner.

    Whereas psychodynamic model assumes that personality is shaped out of unconcious conflicts of sexual and agressive desires.its major part develops within first five years of life. The interplay of hypothetical structures like id,ego and superego is major determinant and of these forces ego is of central importance.

    Humanists argue that behavioral model is too mechanistic and ignore the free will of people whereas psychodynamic model is very pessimistic and negative and ignore the essential goodness of human beings . In this way it came to be known as “third force” in psychology. However ”critics” of humanistic model say that painted picture of human beings is little too rosy and have ignored negative aspects of human nature. Some of them challenge can a humanist explain the motivation behind terrorism?

    Thus one can say that human personality is complex and composite in nature. It has scientific as well as philosophical aspects. All the perspectives try to explain behaviour to some extent . In order to understand completely ,one should take into account all the views to get a holistic picture of human beings.

  6. humanistic approach on the personality says, the human being is not just like other animals, humans are beyond the basic needs and instincts, it focuses on the self-concept.
    it thought of the free will of the being, the world cannot be the same for everyone, it is different for each individual, and it can be described by only the individual.
    maslow and carl rogers are major contributors to the humanistic approach,
    they both emphasized that human beings always try to fulfill their innate capacities and capabilities, that is self- actualization tendency.
    but a humanistic theory is also very difficult to test scientifically. Little research support
    exists for this viewpoint, which could be considered more of a philosophical view of human
    behavior than it is a psychological explanation. Its greatest impact has been in the development
    of therapies designed to promote self-growth and help people better understand
    themselves and others.
    humanistic approach totally differs from the psycho-dynamic approach, as it only deals with sexual and instinctual aspects, it didn’t explain how people are driven by the goal they have taken for their life.
    and behaviouristic approach only concentrates on the environmental aspects that affect personality but human beings are cognitive beings, they can act differently for a stimulus.
    for example;

    1. Nice effort
      Focus more the basic assumptions of the theories. Several things you can avoid ( like.. . Its greatest impact has been in the development
      of therapies designed to promote self-growth and help people better understand
      themselves and others… Such things are not required in this answer ).

  7. Humanistic perspective on Personality believes that people’s behaviour is shaped by their unique perception of world around them and they have inherent potential for growth. It tries to see people’s lives as those people would see them, phenomenologically.

    Two psychologists, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, became well known for their humanistic theories.

    They formulated an optimistic perspective on human nature, and focussing on the ability to think consciously to control their biological urges, and to achieve their full potential by self actualization. In the humanistic view, people are responsible for their lives and actions , develop self esteem and have the free will to change their attitudes and behavior.

    The humanistic approach developed as a rebellion against what some psychologists saw as the limitations of the behaviorist and psychodynamic approaches in understanding behaviours.
    It rejected the basic assumptions of both ,calling them dehumanising in nature, highly focused on generalising animal studies on human beings.

    It can be differentiated from them on grounds of exploring free will of an individual while other both approaches are being biologically deterministic about human nature.
    Behavioural approach is contingent on environmental stimulus while humanistic declares humans to be proactive members of this world.
    It views positive side of human nature while psychoanalytical highlighted only the pessimistic side.
    It also declares the uniqueness of all human beings while other approaches renders all individuals same and their approaches applying universally on them.

    1. Nice answer!
      Appropriate shape and substance.
      Write more on the psychodynamic part and on the contradictory parts of the three models to make your answer adequate.

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