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Chapter: Psychology: Personality

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The Humanistic Approach: Appreciating Our Potential

Phenomenology and Self-actualization • The Self • Positive Psychology • Contributions of the Humanistic Approach

THE HUMANISTIC APPROACH : APPRECIATING OUR POTENTIAL

 

Half a century or so ago, a new approach to human motivation and personality—the humanistic approach—gained prominence. According to its adherents, both trait theo-rists and psychodynamic theorists have lost sight of what is truly human about human beings. Healthy individuals, the humanists argue, want to feel free to choose and deter-mine their own lives rather than to exist as mere pawns pushed around by stimuli from without or driven by demons from within. They seek more than food and sex, and strive for more than mere adjustment—they want to grow and develop their potential.

 

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