It has been claimed that the humanistic approach has little to offer psychology. Outline and evaluate the humanistic approach in psychology. Refer to at least one other approach in your answer. (Total 16 marks)

 

It has been claimed that the humanistic approach has little to offer psychology. Outline and evaluate the humanistic approach in psychology. Refer to at least one other approach in your answer. (Total 16 marks) 

 

The humanistic approach in psychology presents a distinctive viewpoint that underscores the inherent worth and dignity of individuals, steering away from the reductionist views of behaviourism and psychoanalysis. At the core of humanistic psychology is the concept of self-actualisation, a term popularised by Abraham Maslow. Self-actualisation represents the innate drive within individuals to reach their full potential, fostering personal growth and fulfilment. Maslow's hierarchy of needs further illustrates this process, showcasing a progression from basic physiological needs to higher-order psychological needs. 

One key aspect of the humanistic approach is the emphasis on free will—the belief that individuals are active agents in their lives, capable of making choices and directing their own paths. Unlike deterministic views, humanistic psychology recognises the importance of personal responsibility and autonomy in shaping one's destiny. 

Congruence is another pivotal concept, referring to the alignment between the real self and the ideal self. When individuals experience congruence, they are more likely to pursue self-actualisation. However, the humanistic approach acknowledges the impact of societal influences, such as conditions of worth, which can hinder authentic self-expression by imposing external standards and expectations. 

The humanistic approach provides a holistic understanding of human experience, celebrating the uniqueness of individuals while recognising the interplay between personal growth, free will, and societal influences. 

 

The Humanistic approach can be compared in a number of ways.  

While the Humanistic approach takes a free-will stance, one difference compared to the biological approach is in the area of determinism.   

Determinism, in the context of psychological approaches, asserts that either external or internal factors significantly influence individual behaviour.  

For instance, the biological approach emphasises the role of genetics, neurochemistry, and physiological processes in shaping behavior, downplaying the significance of other influences such as environmental influences. In contrast, the Humanistic approach diverges by placing a strong emphasis on personal agency, free will, and the subjective experiences of individuals.  

Thus, while both approaches contribute valuable insights to understanding behavior, the Humanistic approach offers a broader perspective by acknowledging the intricate interplay between internal processes and external influences, providing a more comprehensive view of the complexities of human behavior.  

Not only is there a clear distinction between the notion of free will and determinism, but the approach also has differences when it comes to scientific rigour.  

Scientific rigor refers to the systematic application of rigorous methods and standards in the design, conduct, analysis, and reporting of scientific research to ensure accuracy, objectivity reliability, and validity. 

The humanistic approach and the Social Learning approach diverge in their recognition of how human behaviour should be studied. For example, the Social Learning Theory employs experimental methods, observation to examine the influence of social interactions and cognitive processes on behaviour, adhering to the principles of scientific rigor by systematically investigating and validating its hypotheses through empirical evidence. In contrast, the Humanistic approach, while emphasising the subjective experiences and unique qualities of individuals, often relies on qualitative methods such as interviews and case studies, which may be perceived as less stringent in adhering to traditional scientific standards, highlighting a difference in the approaches' orientations towards research methodology. 

If the research aims to delve into the richness of subjective experiences and individual uniqueness, the humanistic approach provides a more valuable lens. Ultimately, the choice should align with the specific objectives of the study, recognising the complementary strengths of each approach in contributing to a comprehensive understanding of human behaviour. 

 

So why is it an A* answer and what do you need to do in your own essays? Check out the explanatory information below:

 

 

 

  

 

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