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The Humanistic School of Thought

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Jessica Burbach

on 28 June 2014

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Transcript of The Humanistic School of Thought

The Humanistic School of Thought
Humanistic school of thought arose in 1950s and 1960s as a reaction to the behaviorism school of thought and psychoanalysis that were quite dominant at the time. It was widely believed by the founders of the school such as Maslow that behaviorism was limited in its capacity to address fundamental human phenomena including awe, love, meaning, purpose, choice, value, self-actualization and spirituality.
Abraham Maslow
Abraham Maslow is recognized and widely respected for his contributions to the Humanistic school of thought. He is known for his views on individuals’ potentials and needs for growth and self-actualization. His views are based on the notion that humans are all innately good and deviation from the natural tendency arises from psychological and social problems.
The Humanistic psychological school of thought whose historical definition has been seen in its opposition to behavioral school of thought. The humanistic approach is a more positive one as opposed to the pessimistic perspectives that existed before.
The development of humanistic psychology was a response to behaviorism and psychoanalysis. The school of thought, however, focuses on a person’s personal growth, free will and the self-actualization concept. The schools of thought before it centered largely on the abnormal human behavior. On the other hand, this school of thought differs in the emphasis of assisting humans to realize their full potentials (Waterman, 2013).
At the time of the inception of the humanistic school of thought, the dominant schools of thought were viewed as being very pessimistic in their approaches. Psychoanalysis focused on the understanding of the unconscious motivations driving behavior and behaviorism dealt with conditioning processed producing behavior. These perspectives focused on tragic emotions. Humanistic thinkers also criticized the then existing schools of thoughts for their failure to recognize the role of personal choice in the path to exploiting his fullest potential.
Positive Approach
In the late 1950s, Maslow and other proponents of the humanistic school of thought met and discussed the development of a professional movement that would be devoted to a more positive and humanistic approach.
In 1961, the efforts of Maslow and affiliate psychologists paid off as the American Association of Humanistic Psychology was established. The humanistic psychology became a force to reckon with as Maslow published a book, Toward a Psychology of Being in 1962.
The research is more based on the views of Abraham Maslow, who undoubtedly has been credited with the founding of Humanistic Psychology. The ideas of Maslow are a divorce from the pessimistic views of his predecessors.
His ideas and the hierarchy of needs are discussed in order to understand the motivation of human behavior with regards to his place in the hierarchy of needs. Every human being belongs to a certain level in the hierarchy from the lowest level to the level of self actualization.
The school of thought was advanced by two humanistic thinkers: Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers. The influence of this school of thought and its importance in other areas of psychology cannot be underestimated.
The most well known contribution of Maslow to the development of Humanistic psychology is the Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow posits that human beings have needs that have to be fulfilled in order to have a healthy living. He states that the needs motivate the human beings to act the way they do.
The humanistic school of thought is a divorce from the previous dominant behaviorism and psychoanalytical perspectives. It looks at the positive aspects of human behavior rather than the negative ones. The school of thought views human beings as having unique abilities and potentials. It is based on the premise of the natural goodness of every human being and that the deviations from the norms happen as a result of the psychological and social problems that human beings face in the course of their survival.
The school of thought has been widely embraced due to its emphasis on the role of the person in controlling and making a determination on their own state of mental health and well being. In essence, individuals have the opportunity to shape their destinies and control the state of their health. Humanistic psychology also acknowledges the environmental influences on the lives of individuals. It does not solely focus on the internal desires and thoughts, but recognizes the environment as a very important force in influencing human experiences.
Your own Mental State
Humanistic school of thought has influenced learning in great ways. Those who champion humanistic or affective education do emphasis on emotional and social learning and development of the learners. The humanistic approach recognizes the significance of cognitive learning as well as the psychological health of the learners. The disciples of the school of thought desire to make children have a better feeling about them and become more accommodative of others.
Humanistic approaches produce positive results for the learners as it focuses on their needs. School attendance can be increased by the adoption of this school of thought while decreasing the students’ dropout rates. Humanistic psychology is ensures positive attitudes required for the acquisition of knowledge. It also enhances positive behaviors, thereby ultimately conducing to a generally improved learner’s performance and academic achievement.
More to Learn
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