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What are the four assumptions of the humanistic approach?

1. Every individual is unique
2. There is free will
3. People should be viewed holistically
4. The scientific method is not appropriate to measure behaviour


What do humanistic psychologists not do as a result of believing every individual is unique?

The approach is unlikely to generalise to groups or subdivide the populations into clusters which all share a characteristic


Is humanistic psychology idiographic or nomothetic? Why?

Idiographic: It does not try to generalise findings or apply findings to wider groups due to the belief that all individuals are unique


What is free will?

We have the ability to choose what we do and we are in control of our behaviour, ultimately meaning we are in charge of how we develop and progress through life


What does the humanistic approach acknowledge as constraints on our free will?

Social rules, laws and morals


Why does the humanistic approach think we should look at things holistically?

If we focus on just one aspect of an individual much of what is affecting them might be missed


Why does the humanistic approach not seek to be scientific?

The scientific method tries to be too objective, and yet humans are subjective in the way they think and behave


What evidence proves the existence of free will according to humanistic psychologists?

In most circumstances a person feels like they chosen a course of action themselves, and as humanistic psychologists do not see proof as being important, this subjective experience is enough


What is self-actualisation and which key humanistic psychologists believe in it?

A peak state of existence that any individual can attain where individuals feel driven to fulfil their full potential, and can be described as the ultimate feeling of wellbeing and satisfaction

Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow


What is the "state of flow"?

When someone is completely caught up in a task so that they are completely focused on it. This state seems to increase personal growth as the state makes it more likely that individuals will have the sort of peak of experiences that are part of self-actualisation


What is important to have in order to achieve self-actualisation?

A positive attitude


What is "the hierarchy of needs" and who suggested it?

Maslow; A series of stages which need to be in place before self-actualisation can be realised


What are the hierarchy of needs from the top to the bottom?

Belonging and love


Explain how Maslow's hierarchy of needs works

The drive to achieve full potential means we are all working through the needs in an attempt to self-actualise, but this state is not permanent and if all five needs do not remain in place, an individual moves back out of the state, such as being in a warzone preventing the safety needs being fulfilled


What does Carl Rogers' work focus on?

The three "selves" of the individual


What are the three selves proposed by Carl Rogers?

The self-concept - The self you feel you are, similar to self-esteem, which can be distorted

The ideal self - The self you wish to be

The real self - The person you actually are, which is difficult to ascertain because everyone views you differently


How does Carl Rogers believe individuals achieve self-actualisation?

A person must be congruent, which means their self-concept and real self are the same, but this is difficult to achieve and many people do not reach self-actualisation


What is an important part of achieving congruence according to Rogers?

Unconditional positive regard, which is when someone has been loved for who they are by someone else, being accepted regardless of what they do


What are conditions of worth according to Rogers?

Requirements that the individual feels they need to meet to be loved, also known as conditional positive regard. These conditions can either be real or perceived by the individual


What did Carl Rogers develop from his ideas?

Client-centred therapy, central to which is the unconditional positive regard given by the therapist, which makes the client feel comfortable and allows them to say whatever they want to their therapist, creating total honesty. This allows them to remove barriers to becoming congruent


How has the influence of humanistic ideas on counselling psychology varied over the years?

The influence was extensive throughout the 1960s and 1970s, but this waned in the late 1970s due to an increase in focus on science, and had a resurgence in the 1990s due to the popularity of positive psychology. The "third wave" of CBT treatments now integrates humanistic and cognitive ideas to be more client-centred


What does research by Elliot show?

In a meta-analyses of 86 studies Elliot found that humanistic therapies prompted a significant improvement in clients when compared with people not receiving treatment


How can humanistic psychology be positively evaluated?

- The argument that we are all unique and should be viewed this way is supported by research that finds within-group differences are larger than between-group differences, such as Hyde's gender differences being greater within groups of men and women

- Acknowledges the influence of subjective experience

- The therapies developed by this approach are effective

- The belief in free will in intuitively correct

- Concepts such as self-actualisation have been widely accepted and influential

- Allows for personal development and change


How can the humanistic approach be criticised?

- Ideas are difficult to test scientifically

- Some of the concepts are vague and therefore difficult to measure, such as self-actualisation

- Culturally specific to individualist cultures