Both humanistic and existential personality theories are based on an essentially positive view of the human psyche—the cup half full, rather than what is missing. Humanistic theory believes in the inherent motivation of individuals to be their best selves. When individuals stumble, expert guidance can help them to tap into the experiences and self-understanding that leads to more authentic and satisfying choices. Existential personality theory speaks to human behavior as a search for the meaning of life. Struggle stems from inability to find that meaning, such as when individuals feel isolated and alone. Interventions support choices and actions to create personal meaning or recognizing external roadblocks and how to remove them.
This week, you will traverse through humanistic and existential personality theories, including the ideas of Rogers, Maslow, Seligman, Csikszentmihalyi, Frankl, and many others.
Cervone, D., & Pervin, L. A. (2019). Personality: Theory and research (14th ed.). Wiley.
- Chapter 5, ”A Phenomenological Theory: The Personality Theory of Rogers” (pp. 127–146)
- Chapter 6, “Rogers’s Phenomenological Theory: Applications, Related Theoretical Conceptions, and Contemporary Research” (pp. 147–179)
Review the Learning Resources, focusing on theorists, cultural considerations, assessments/interventions, limitations, and unique aspects of the humanistic and existential theory.
Post two key ideas from the humanistic/phenomenological and existential theoretical orientation. How are phenomenological theory and existential theory related?
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