Humanistic Personality Theories

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Human personality is a key concept of individual differences in Psychology. There have been many different approaches to defining personality over the years however there is no accepted meaning although it has various definitions; one particular definition is quite significant: “....the dynamic organization within the individual of those psychological systems that determine his characteristic behaviour and thought” (Allport, 196) Personality theories are developed to discover issues such as why people differ from each other. The main approaches which define personality are psychoanalytical approaches (which are adopted by Freud), learning theories, cognitive theories, the trait approach, biological basis and the humanistic theories of personality. The humanistic theory is a big influence in contributing to the definition of personality. The humanistic theory of personality see’s the individual as unique and it views the world from different perspectives. In humanistic theories there is no focus on the personality traits or what motivates people’s behaviour. It is influenced by philosophical beliefs and endures that ones life is determined by choices made by an individual. It is also the belief of goodness and positive Psychology which contrast to Freud’s psychoanalytical theory of personality. A person’s personality can be influenced by other individuals who alter their self esteem negatively and place conditions of worth on the individual. The humanistic theory first came about in the early twentieth century; it was encouraged by the psychoanalytic tradition and the learning theories of personality. Two of the main theorists were Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers who were both educated in the psychoanalytic area however the researchers developed a new approach. Their approach was influenced by philosophical background. Humanistic theories focus on positive
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