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Humanistic And Existential Personality Theories Essay

1175 words - 5 pages

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
Many theorists have dedicated their lives trying to figure out how the personality of a person is shaped. While the theories presented have brought up interesting and valid points on what causes personality, there are others that have taken a different approach to its study. There is the Humanistic-Dynamic theory by Abraham Maslow, the Person-Centered theory by Carl Rogers, and the Existential Psychology made popular by Rollo May.
Analyze how humanistic theories affect individual personalities
Maslow created a step by step process that he believed each individual must go through in order to get to the top. The five step hierarchy of needs ...view middle of the document...

11). He believed that this was the only tendency that humans have and that they use it to satisfy drives, express emotions, and accept and value themselves.
Analyze how existential theories affect individual personalities
Existentialism affects one’s personality in many different ways. In order to better understand these effects, it is important to understand the premise behind this theory and its basic concepts. The coined spokesperson for existential psychology was Rollo May, who believed that “healthy people challenge their destiny, cherish their freedom, and live authentically with other people and with themselves. They recognize the inevitability of death and have the courage to live life in the present” (Feist & Feist, 2009, ch. 11).
There are five main elements by which existentialism is based upon: (1) “existentialists affirm that people’s essence is their power to continually redefine themselves through the choices they make, (2) existentialism opposes the split between subject and object, (3) people search for some meaning to their lives, (4) existentialists hold that ultimately each of us is responsible for who we are and what we become, (5) existentialists are basically anti-theoretical. To them, theories further dehumanize people and render them as objects” (Feist & Feist, 2009, ch. 11). Ultimately this means that under this theory, these elements play an important role in individual personality. Because existentialists believe that existence takes precedence over essence, the awareness of a threat to one’s existence can cause one to become anxious. On side it can cause the individual to stop progressing and remain stagnant or it can be what the individual needs to develop and move forward with his or her life (Feist & Feist, 2009). It simply depends on the person as well as the particular experience. Aside from causing a person anxiety, one’s personality can also be affected by guilt due to “lack of awareness of one’s being-in-the-world” (Feist & Feist, 2009, ch. 11). Besides guilt and anxiety, intentionality, care, love, freedom, and destiny can work together through this theory to influence one’s behavior at it pertains to one’s self, identification of self, and relation to self in the world. A person might develop a personality that is optimistic, positive, and happy because he or she has become aware of his or her purpose in life. One is also aware that he or she defines his or her own destiny in the world. An individual might also have healthy interpersonal relationships with others that would add value to their life and contribute to their personal growth and development.
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