Humanistic Theory: The Hierarchy Of Needs

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In the 1950s, psychologists began to develop a theoretical outlook unlike behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Humanism arose as a response to these leading forces in psychology but found its origins in classical and renaissance philosophy that underlined self-realization, that is, the ability of a human to reach his/her full potential and develop psychologically, intellectually and ethically. The development of humanism was also bolstered by similar philosophical movements in Europe, such as developments in phenomenology and existentialism. Humanistic Theory emphasizes on the whole person. It adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and human potential. Maslow wanted to learn more about what makes people do the things they do to achieve a specific aim. He then introduced his concept of the “Hierarchy of Needs”. Depicted in a pyramid, one must satisfy their lower level needs before moving up the pyramid to satisfy higher level needs. This theory is beneficial because it allows one to see and understand where and why problem behaviors are developed. By assessing the individual one can quickly see where on the hierarchy of needs the individual falls, thus one can understand where the problem stems from. For example, a person who was homeless would continue to be dominated by anxiety about stability even after he or she got back on their feet. These individuals would be fixated on being stable financially
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