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Humanistic And Existential Theories Paper

1299 words - 6 pages

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
University of Phoenix
PSY 405
August 1, 2011

Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
Humanistic and existential personality theories are a very important part of psychology. Both of these theories have origins starting in philosophy and moving into psychology. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses and the effects on individual personalities is important. This analysis will also explain how humanistic and existential theories influence interpersonal relationships.
Strengths of Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
One of the strengths of the humanistic ...view middle of the document...

Finally the theory is mostly understandable and somewhat free of cumbersome concepts and difficult language.
Understanding the strengths of May’s existential personality theory is important. May’s Theory falls low on most criterion of what makes a theory useful and strong. One of the strengths of the theory is that it helps organize what is currently known about humans. “May’s philosophical writings have reached deep into the far recesses of the human experience and have explored aspects of humanity not examined by other personality theorists” (Feist & Feist, 2009, p. 368). Another of the strengths of the theory falls on the last critic that the theory is parsimonious.
Weaknesses of Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories
While these two theories have played a major role in the lives of many there are some weaknesses to both. In the existential theory the major weakness is the fact that there is limited research on the principles and practices of existential psychotherapy. With this approach providing a lack of principles it leaves a lack of language and few testable hypotheses. This can cause confusion for therapists and psychologists because it can make it difficult to conduct research. As for the Holistic-Dynamic theory it is hard to either falsify or prove to be true because in most cases it is believed that while doing research most people do not want to participate in testing that may socialize in self-actualization. It has also been determined that Maslow left little direction in most of his finding leaving psychologist the belief that they are not truly replicating his theory. (Feist & Feist, 2009).
The Effects of Humanistic Theory of Individual Personalities
Maslow’s views of personality affirm that people acquire higher levels of physiological health as they grow older. Jack Bauer and Dan McAdams conducted research on growth goals that determined that age plays a critical part in personality development. The development of an individual’s personality change depends on whether the person was motivated by intrinsic or extrinsic goals. This means the people with intrinsic goals view the aspect of getting older gains personality development and a boost in one’s ego while those with extrinsic goals, tend to concentrate more on the physical form and social status. Although this was research, it concluded to prove the statements by Bauer and McAdams. When discussing personality growth according to age, it concludes that older adults have a higher level of comfort and ego improvement than younger people. This means older people are more satisfied with their life than young adults. With that being said, young adults are more satisfied with their physical beings than older people. These experimental conclusions of Bauer and McAdams are consistent with Maslow’s findings that humans daily consider both safety or growth directions and growth promotes well- being and psychological health (Feist & Feist, 2009).

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