TEMPLE PSY 1001 - Lecture 2-3: Humanistic Theories

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Clinical Psych Lecture 2-3: Humanistic TheoriesHumanistic Theories were an American movement and counter-reaction to Freud. It stressed basic good, positive nature of humanity, and self-determinism as compared to the dark forces that Freud stressed. They developed from observationsof healthy people. It was centered on aiming for fulfillment and self-improvement and the capacity of positive contributions to society. - Abraham Maslow was the founder of humanistic theory. He criticized psychology for studying pathology, weakness, and abnormalities. His theory is built on observing well-adjusted individuals rather than disturbed patients. It stressed universal goals of reaching the fullest human potential. Growth motivation is weaker than motivation to gratify basic needs and can easily be overcome by habits, cultural pressures, etc.- Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – the highest need is self-actualization which is reaching fullest potential. The list can be violated. Temporary choices switch places with higher needs. Needs do not have to be met 100% of the time. Needs from low to high:o Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, and excretion. o Safety: security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health, and property.o Love/belonging: friendship, family, and sexual intimacy. o Esteem: self esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, and respect from others.o Self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, and acceptance of facts. - Self-actualizers are accepting and realists which means they accept life the way it is. They are problem centered which means they can solve problems. They are spontaneous and flexible. They have a need for autonomy and solitude, which means they are willing to go their own way and they can make decisions by themselves. They have a continued freshness of appreciation. They have peak experience and flow. - Carl Rodgers believed that humans are basically good and self-directed. Our goal is self-awareness and self-realization. Psychopathology occurs when the goals are frustrated. In order of people to be able to be their best self, they have to have unconditional positive regard, which means that people love you no matter what (example: parents). - Client-Centered Therapy: unconditioned positive regard is when the therapist accepts the patient for who they are and does not impost conditions of worth, which can subvert the drive towards self-acceptance and self-actualization. This promotes self-awareness and creative choice. - Evaluating Humanistic Theories: it focuses on more positive aspects of human functioning and experience which is relative to today’s positive psychology movement. It can be simplistic and naïve but also has abstractconcepts and is difficult to investigate. It emphasizes the universality between people and it’s not so good at explaining individual differences. Trait theory: traits are inborn stable characteristics that we have. They refer to emotional, cognitive, and behavioral tendencies that are relatively consistent through situations and constitute underlying personality dimensions and they vary between individuals. Trait theory is an approach to personality that is more about the “what” rather than the “how” or “why”. Trait theory comes from statistical attempts to find core dimensions or traits. Ex: personality tests. Trait theory focuseson:o Description of personalityo Common elements of personalityo Individual variation in common elements. - Several approaches to trait theory and personality tests:o Cattells’ 16 PF (personality factors) test. 16 was a lot to remember. o Hans Eysenck’s 3 factors: extroversion-introversion, neuroticism-emotional stability, psychoticism-impulse control. o Five factor model comes from the data. They are not always found. They are cross-culture.  Openness to experience: creative and open-minded vs. simple and narrow-minded. People who are more flexible are generally happier.  Conscientiousness: organized and responsible vs. careless and frivolous.  Extroversion: talkative and energetic vs. quiet and reserved. Agreeable: kind and affectionate vs. cold, cruel, and quarrelsome. Neuroticism: stable and calm vs. anxious and irritable. - Gordon Allport said traits determine behavior. He believes there are two aspects of traits:o Observed patterns of behavior that occur frequently.o Inferred underlying dimensions of disposition from which behavior emanates. - Issues in trait theory: o Consistency: trait theory is more consistent across similar situations, and less consistent over long periods of time. Traits are not easily overcome but specific behaviors can be enacted with effort. o Situationism: behavior is controlled by situational factors instead of internal traits. BF Skinner showed that situational reinforcers shape response tendencies but too much individual variation is response to same reinforcers. o Interactionism: relationship between person’s traits and situations they choose to be in. Traits are activated by the situation but situations are influenced by the traits or tendencies. Bandura’s reciprocal determinism says that a person’s behavior is influenced by and influences an individual’s personal factors and environment.o Genetics and inheritance: heritability is the portion of population variance in a particular trait that is due to inherited genetic influence. Twin studies are used here. Heritability rate is between 20-55% depending on the trait, which means that personality traits have a considerable genetic influence. - Brain function and personality: phrenology (the shape of the brain influencespersonality) and Phineas Gage were studies in the past about the connection of brain and personality. Many brain structures and functions were studied. Clark and Watson’s attempt to organize data into broad categories of biologically based temperament. Independent dimensions have different but overlapping putative biological roots. 3 dimensions are negative emotionality, positive emotionality, and disinhibition vs. constraint. - Psychopathology and trait theory: there is not a lot of adequate adjustment ofpredisposing traits, for example neuroticism. Disorders aren’t inherited but you can inherit traits that predispose you to disorders  diathesis-stress model of psychopathology: traits predispose one to a disorder. Trait rigidity or inflexibility is one


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