Humanistic Theory


Humanist,humanistic theory, and humanism are psychological approaches that aimto study the structure of the whole person pinpointing the variousuniqueness found in each person. The psychological approach aims toinvestigate and comprehend why human beings pose certain behavioralattributes in various circumstances. The theory offers an explanationof the behavioral counts of the human beings based on the uniqueattributes that a human being possesses that separates each person.The following write-up will offer close study to the discoveries madefrom the humanistic theory, along with the latest developments in thetheory that continually justify as to why human pose variousbehavioral differences.

Humanismis a psychological standpoint that studies the entire human being.The study emphasizes on the human behavior not only through theperson observing the behavior but also through the individualportraying the behavior. The theory may sometimes be termed as beingphenomenological, meaning that the personality under scrutiny is fromthe point of reference of the person’s subjective experiences(Encyclopediaof the Sciences of Learning,645).Humanism is hugely imperative in the study of the human behaviorbecause it does not focus on the behavior, consciousness, or thethinking process of the individual or the workability of the humanbrain. The humanistic theory places emphasis on learning how acertain individual perceives and construes the events in question.There is a huge proportionality of the theory that directsapplication of the psychology towards the self, which is important isunderstanding the varied behavior displayed by humans.

Theinception of the theory followed after certain psychologistsexpressed profound limitations of the psychodynamic and behavioristtheories. The limitations of the behaviorist perspective to study thehuman behavior were that the theory focused on reinforcing thestimulus-response performance and that the theory was hugelydependent on animal research. Humanist psychology faulted thepsychodynamic theory in that the latter was deterministic, offeringunconscious instinctive and irrational forces that influenced thehuman behavioral and thought process. Over the 1970s and the 1980s,the humanistic theory of approach to the human behavior expandedtremendously, and its impacts could easily be understood throughvarious ways. The theory presented the users with a broad approach tomore efficient methods to enable the professional study andunderstanding of the human behavior (Fiske,286).Additionally, the theory offered an increased horizon of the inquirymethods that necessitated the study of the human behavioral aspects.More so, the humanism theory presented a new set of values that wouldbe used to investigate and comprehend the nature of human beingsthrough their behavioral conditions (Fiske,290).

Thecentral existential operational assumption of the theory is that allthe human beings have free will. The free will of the human beingunder study is termed as a personal agency. Through the personalagency, there is an explanation of the choices we make, the ways wechose to walk and the results and consequences of our actions(Scholl,315).An additional assumption used to try and understand the humanbehavior is that people operate through and innate need to be goodand makes themselves and the world better. The theory perceives thehuman being as being noble, together with being optimistic that thehuman behavior portrays itself in a struggle to overcome despair,pain, and hardships. Self-actualization is a central motive amonghumans, and the theory expresses that people behave in ways thatreflect fulfillment and personal growth. In meaning, every humanbeing thrives on growing psychosomatically and enhancing themselveswhile seeking satisfaction from life (Scholl,118). Humanism rejects scientific psychology as a means ofcomprehending the varied human behaviors. This is because the centralfactors component to the humanistic theory is the consciousnessexperiences of the person, which are subjective. Hence, the objectivereality has lesser meaning to the person as compared to thesubjective perception of the individual towards the world.

Darrenis a mellow guy and loved by everyone, which is why when he isarrested for destroying property and injuring people in a mob, hisfamily and friends are surprised. Explain his behavior.

Toall people, Darren is a darling, and his behavior is the best examplethere is, at least according to his family and friends. The familywould never associate Darren with property destruction and humaninjuries at a mob. To them, their Darren is incapable of suchviolence, let alone mob engagements. Using the humanistic theory toapproach Darren’s behavior, there is the unseen need ofself-actualization in Darren that no one in his family and friendscircle can recognize. He has perfected the outward expression asbeing lovable and mellow for the outward appearance. To the familyand friends, there is the satisfaction that Darren is most content asbeing mellow hence, the easy interpretation that he is lovable andincapable of harming anyone or destroying property. However, thehumanistic approach focuses also on the perception of the individualportraying the specific behavior. Darren participated in the mobactivity as a directive towards self-actualization. His quest to seekwhat he feels he is missing from his life drove him to the mob. Byengaging in the mob, he thought he would seek that missing link hefeels would lead to self- satisfaction. Understanding that Darren isnot content with being mellow and lovable to the family and friendsmay be imperative especially to the family to come to terms withDarren’s behavior. His behavior models a distraught reaction to theworld, subjecting himself in activities that he feels will avail himthe needed satisfaction.


Encyclopediaof the Sciences of Learning: 1.New York: Springer, 2012. Print.

Fiske,Susan T, Daniel T. Gilbert, Gardner Lindzey, and Arthur E.Jongsma.&nbspHandbookof Social Psychology.Hoboken, N.J: Wiley, 2010. Print.

Scholl,Mark B., A. Scott McGowan, and James T. Hansen, eds.&nbspHumanisticperspectives on contemporary counseling issues.Routledge, 2013.