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Humanistic Psychology

Third Force: opposed to reductionism of behaviorism and psychoanalysis; focus on free will

Broader epistemology

Broader concept of subject matter

Existentialism: philosophical orientation concerned with issues of existence, role of freedom, individual uniqueness, quest for authenticity in face of forces threatening human dignity

Heidegger: dasein—"being there" or "being in the world" (factuality, existentiality, fallenness)

Humanistic Psychology--Characteristics

Opposed to reductionism (study whole human being, not systems or parts)

Emphasis on human experience (phenomenology)

Interest in existential issues

Free will

Human nature is growth-oriented

Pluralistic methodology

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)


Realistic and problem-centered perception of the world

Refreshing sense of spontaneity & simplicity

Genuine acceptance of self and others

Mature, unhostile sense of humor

Quality of detachment & need for privacy and autonomy

Strong social interest & identification with humanity but deep relationships with few

Carl Rogers (1902-1987)

Person-centered therapy

Inherent drive toward growth and self-actualization

Growth occurs in the right environment, 3 essential ingredients:



unconditional positive regard

ViKtor Frankl (1902-1997)

Logotherapy (Gr. logos – reason or controlling principle)

Importance of finding meaning in life

Man’s Search for Meaning about concentration camp experience