Psych Discussion Response

  Original Question:

Humanistic and Existential Perspectives

Forum Assignment for the Week:

Contrast the Humanistic and Existential perspectives as they pertain to the concept of personality. Which philosophical assumptions were most important to Rogers? Using the Existential framework, how do times of change and crisis lead us to reconsider our values?

Reply t the following response with 200 words minimum.  (please make response as if having a conversation, respond directly to some of the statements in below post.)

   In looking at existentialism and humanistic perspectives, existentialism deals with those that look into the meaning of life.  Basically, existentialists look at what drives people and why people exist in the first place.  They also view people to be reliant of the world around them to exist and vice versa being the world must rely on humans to exist because humans will perceive the world (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).  In the mind of existentialists, responsibility is placed solely in the hands of the person who it is relating to.  This meaning that it looks at how someone will overcome something or not, how they will use their freedom to overcome or possibly succumb to something instead.  Overall existentialists do not value the role of the person as highly at humanistic idealists do, humanism itself emphasizes the personal worth of the individual and the centrality of human values (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).  Humanism also does look at things like ethics and love like existentialists, however they primarily look into the environment and how it affects the person.  Behavior to them is controlled by unconscious forces in a person’s environment as well as prior experiences. 

            Carl Rodgers is credited with being one of the founders of the humanistic approach to psychology.  In his mind people fell into shaping themselves based on what they believed what the best course of action.  People would do this by working hard to get what they thought was best, doing this while understanding that other people are different and that we should work towards ones best self (Friedman & Schustack, 2012).  A person must come to terms with their true nature in Roger’s eyes, following what they believe they are being pushed into is not appropriate, your true self is what matters.  Lastly, Rogerian theory brings up the idea that a person must drop all masks and blending tools so that he/she can be more open and self-trusting in what they life and personality should be. 

            Using the existential framework to look at times of change and crisis and how a person could use these to reconsider their values, quite simply when a person finds themselves in time of turmoil, it is normal to wonder and think if maybe they should change.  It is in this change where a person can realize that something is wrong or on the flipside something is right.  If a person experiences a bad break up that leaves them in complete disarray, they may change the way they act the next time they begin dating to try and weed out that experience from happening again.  The primary way an existentialist would look at this is by seeing what the person did when presented with the option of love or conflict, if they used their freedom to handle it or not handle it at all.  The world is shaped and acting in a certain way, in a sense, to existentialists the personality of the person is gone and to them it should not have been surprised that the relationship ended, but they would have been surprised that the person acted so poorly after it did because they should have known it was inevitable.    

References

Friedman, H. S., & Schustack, M. W. (2012). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research, 5thed. Boston, MA: Pearson: Allyn & Bacon.

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