A Brief Introduction to Humanistic Perspective

A Brief Introduction to Humanistic Perspective

Humanistic Perspective

Important terms

Self respect, self-actualization, Self Esteem, Self Image, Perception of Self, Free Will

Major Thinkers in Humanistic Psychology

Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, Rollo May, Erich Fromm

A Brief Introduction to Humanistic Perspective
Abraham Maslow
A Brief Introduction to Humanistic Perspective
Carl Rogers

View of Human Nature

Humanistic psychologist viewed humans as not the machines, they thought that humans have free will and can change themselves and they rejected the view of determinism. All the humans are respectable and they deserve unconditional positive regard and respect despite of what they have done in their life. Personality of humans depend on their view of their own self.

All humans are born with a potential and they have a need to reach the maximum potential which is called self-actualization. They also said that we can study humans only by experimenting on humans, they rejected the view that we can study humans by experimenting and studying on animals.

They also said that psychology should focus on studying the humans on individual basis and stop analyzing all the people in a group. If we use the nomothetic approach we will not be able to study the individual differences of different people.

Cause of Abnormality:

When a person has bad self image of himself it will lead to abnormality. If a person has a bad view of himself he will also perceive the other people as bad.

We always try to reach the ideal self which is what we want to be in life, If the gap between ideal self and our real self (what we are) increases then person involves in abnormal behavior.


In the treatment psychologist focus on growing the self image and self respect of a person and making him realize that he can solve his problems and he is not a bad person. Other methods includes trying to decrease the incongruence in the ideal and real self. Some therapies names are given below

Person-centered therapy/ Client centered therapy

Solution-focused brief therapy

Transpersonal psychology

Reality therapy


Humanistic perspective totally ignores the importance of unconscious mind and the observable behavior of people.

We cannot objectively measure the free will or self actualization.

Humans and animals behavior can be compared.

Ignores the biology of humans.

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