Briefly put, it appears to me that science and everything scientific can be and often is used as a tool in the service of a distorted, narrowed, humorless, de-eroticized, de-emotionalized, de-sacralized, and de-sanctified "Weltanschauung". This desacralization can be used as a defense against being flooded by emotion, especially the emotions of humility, reverence, mystery, wonder, and awe.
Assumptions of Humanistic Psychology
“Third Force Psychology”
Focuses on consciousness, the self/self-concept, creativity, personal meaning, and growth.
Human beings have free will
conduct is based on ‘reasons' rather than ‘causes.'
The ultimate ‘cause’ of human behavior is the individual's subjective reality, their conscious experiences and choices.
Experimental methods are often inappropriate to the study of human conduct and experience (holistic vs. ‘variable' approach).
Assumptions of Humanistic Psychology
Research should focus on the complexity and uniqueness of human potential rather than the basic biological enabling conditions.
People are fundamentally good and actualizing.
People are not destined to have neurotic conflict.
Relies on the phenomenological perspective: The study of conscious experience, consciousness, and intentionality
Measuring a phenomenon is not the same as determining its meaning.
Explaining a phenomenon is not the same as understanding it.
Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)
Started as a behaviorist (animal research).
Believed the study of “higher human functioning” was important, and required different methods.
Became interested in the exceptional rather than the abnormal as a basis for psychology.
Maslow's vision of psychology: theory-oriented but not mechanistic/deterministic.
Created a theory of motivation that included physiological, psychological, and aesthetic needs.
Maslow's ideas stemmed from his work with primates, under Harry Harlow (contact comfort)
Maslow concluded the more 'dominant' or controlling = healthier.
Generalized this to humans via interviews (”Conversational probing”) in 1943: "Dominance, Self-esteem, and Self-actualization: A Theory of Human Motivation."
“High dominance feeling empirically involves good self-confidence, self-assurance, high evaluation of the self, feelings of general capability, or superiority, and a lack of shyness, timidity, self-consciousness, or embarrassment.”
Grew increasingly dissatisfied with positivism and behaviorist view of human beings.
Hierarchy of Needs:
Characteristics of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Hierarchy is divided into ‘being' and ‘deficiency' motivation.
The sequence of needs is invariant, universal, and sequential.
One cannot move to the next level until the present need is fulfilled.
Self-actualization is a "biological need."
Composed of “being needs,” or “b-values”
"Neurosis" is a deficiency disease: we need love and esteem just as we need Vitamin C.
As one ascends the hierarchy, needs become more difficult to obtain, easily interfered with, and uniquely human.
Vast majority of people are at the "love" or "esteem" level.
Only 1% of the population self-actualize.
Obstacles to growth:
negative parental influences (conditions of worth);
social or group pressure;
defensiveness (Jonah complex).
More than any other knowledge we fear knowledge of ourselves, knowledge that might transform our self-esteem and our self- image.... While human beings love knowledge and seek it--they are curious--they also fear it. The closer and more personal it is the more they fear it.
The self-actualized person and "metamotives": no longer motivated by the basic needs but an attempt to enhance their being
are momentarily intense B-value states.
are mystical experiences which transcend ordinary reality.
Ineffability (can't be expressed),
noetic quality (an essentially intellectual experience of 'truth'),
transiency (last no longer than two hours),
passivity (one's own will is not a factor--it unfolds before you).