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Running head: PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
Psychological Perspectives
Alexandria Fenelon
Course Name: General Psychology
Professor’s Name: Angela Adame-Smith
Date Submitted: 4th June 2019
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PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
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Introduction
Perspectives in psychology are the different approaches that view and explain the general
behavior of an individual. Psychological perspectives are the various motives that elaborate on
how persons think, behave, and feel. The commonly known perspectives are; biological,
cognitive, evolutionary, behavioral, humanistic, cross-cultural, and psychodynamic perspectives
(Cherry, 2018). From the different aspects of psychology listed above, I will major on the
humanistic perspective.
The humanistic approach was founded by Abraham Maslow. The humanistic approach
explains human existence by analyzing different aspects of human beings such as values,
spirituality, freedom, self-actualization, personal responsibility, tragedy, and personal
responsibility. Humanistic psychology is basis on the attributes of a healthy man who has
substantial psychological aspects. Humanistic perspectives have a list of basic principles which
actively govern the approach. These principles are; it is a holistic psychological approach that
illustrates human characteristics and actions as free will and drives for self-actualization.
Secondly, it aims at maximum human potential and success. Thirdly, it recognizes that
individuals are healthy, and they give attention to their creativity and experiences. The principles
have strongly upheld the perspective contributing to its success.
Humanistic psychology was developed in the late 1950s by a group of theorists who were
Abraham Maslow, Roll May, Carl Rogers, and Clark Moustakas. Their interest was majorly on
distinctive characteristics of an individual like love, health, creativity, ambition, spirituality,
nature, faith, hope, self-actualization, individuality, among others. This perspective was the third
perspective in psychology to be developed. Other theorists like Wilhelm Reich and Carl Gustav
Jung who emphasized on the self-healthy core, the concept of archetypes and desire of better
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
3
individual rankings supported Maslow’s theory. Humanistic psychology is well illustrated by a
hierarchy of human needs known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which was founded by
Abraham Maslow. The founder emphasized that a healthy individual has an excellent desire for
exploiting his or her full potential to reach the whole self-actualization level.
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is best to illustrate with the use of a triangular pyramid. The
authority of needs shows that for one to reach the full self-actualization level (to exploit his or
her potential fully), he or she has to undergo a series of levels basic needs being the first level.
The hierarchy of needs shows the different categories of physiological and physical demands that
a healthy individual passes through during their lifespan. The bottom part of the pyramid is the
basic needs also known as physiological needs followed by safety needs, the third level being
love, affection, and belonging, the fourth one being self-esteem and the topmost is selfactualization.
The basic needs level, which is the bottom part of the pyramid includes the needs that a
healthy man cannot do without; these are the essential requirements for human survival. They
include food, air, sleep, shelter, clothing, good health, and education. A healthy man first ensures
that those needs are fully sustained; these are the first desires for an individual. The safety level
recognizes that after an individual is fully satisfied at the primary level, he or she then desires to
have a secure environment that is free from human hazards. This is security in job areas,
residential areas, and security for the property.
The level of love and belonging, which is the third level emphasis that an individual after
accomplishing the first two levels he or she then desires to feel love and affection from the
society. This level, an individual strives to make friendship, family, intimacy, and a sense of
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
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connection. The individual strikes to seek where he can express his grievances to and receive
attention.
The self-esteem level, which is the fourth level emphasis that after one has accomplished
the last three levels, he or she then desires have status in the society. This is where an individual
needs to be recognized and respected in the community where he or she lives. For this to be
accomplished, the individual strikes to own different status in the society like being a leader, a
pastor, or any other rank in the society the aims at accomplishing them and being successful.
The topmost level is the self-actualization, where an individual is not just recognized in
the society but is nationally and internationally recognized and leaves a prestigious and
harmonious life, individual desires to achieve more and more. For an individual to arrive at this
stage, he or she has to undergo the different levels in a systematic process without jumping any.
The illustration bellows shows the hierarchy of needs in a summarized way (Plateresca, n.d.)
Humanistic perspective in psychology has advantages and disadvantages, just like any
other innovation. The benefits are that it is holistic in that it is not based on a single attribute of
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
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an individual, but it cuts across the whole set of characteristics of an individual. Secondly, it
accounts for an individual personality that is dynamic and keeps on changing. Thirdly, it
emphasizes how an individual systematically strives to achieve more and more from the most
basic to self-actualization needs. Its disadvantage is that it does not give sufficient empirical
evidence. Also, it does not consider the impact of external environment but bases its concern on
the internal environment of the individual (Introduction to Psychology, n.d.).
Humanistic perspectives of psychology have faced oppositions from different theorists.
May’s existentialism opposes the view by illustrating a deeper awareness of the dynamic
explanations of human existence. Psychologists also oppose it in the point that it ignores the
presence of diversities in the world. Besides, it does not offer a room for research in accuracy
and consistency, and also it ignores the impact of external environment on the experience of an
individual’s lifespan.
Different theories like Carl Rogers have emphasized the humanistic perspective. Carl
Rogers stated that the individual personality should be entirely accepted with zero regards to
their essentiality. He stressed that the individuals raised in an unconditional positive environment
have higher percentages of full self –actualization while the ones built in a conditional positive
environment have to fulfill the laid down principles (conditions) to feel that they have reached
the self-actualization stage.
In conclusion, humanistic perspective has led to recognizable impact in different
disciplines like education, political movements, and industrial field and in the health, sectors to
determine the functioning of the brain. The perspective has also contributed to the emergence of
new ideas and aspects to psychotherapy. Some of the major approaches that emerged are clientcentered therapy, self-concept, fully-functioning person, peak experiences, among others.
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
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Reference
Cherry, K., (2018, 10, 04). Perspectives in modern psychology. Retrieved from the very well
mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/perspectives-in-modern-psychology-2795595
Introduction to Psychology. (n.d.). Retrieved from Lumen:

Psychological Perspectives


Plateresca. (n.d.). Shutterstock – Stock Photos, Royalty-Free Images, Vectors, Videos, and Music.
Retrieved from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: https://www.shutterstock.com/imagevector/maslows-hierarchy-needs-scalable-vector-illustration-608461748
Running head: PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
Psychological Perspectives
Alexandria Fenelon
Palm Beach State College
1
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
2
Abstract
This paper examines the humanistic perspective and the history of humanistic psychology which
is illustrated by Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs shows
different types of level needs that must be reached in order to obtain the full self-actualization
level. Starting with the basic needs level, this level shows the needs that a human requires in
order to survive such as food, air, water, etc. The second level, safety needs, includes needs that
make a person feel secure, such as a job or health. As for the third and fourth level, these include
love and belonging and esteem. These levels show the need of having relationships and feeling
respected by others. The final level a person will reach is self-actualization, which is the level
where a person desires to be the best they can possibly be. The humanistic approach has
impacted many different approaches such as new ideas and therapy strategies.
Keywords: p​ ​erspectives, self-actualization, psychology, humanistic
PSYCHOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVES
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References
Cherry, K., (2018, 10, 04). ​Perspectives in modern psychology.​ Retrieved from the very well
mind: https://www.verywellmind.com/perspectives-in-modern-psychology-2795595
Introduction to Psychology​. (n.d.). Retrieved from Lumen:

Psychological Perspectives


Plateresca. (n.d.). ​Shutterstock – Stock Photos, Royalty-Free Images, Vectors, Videos, and Music.​
Retrieved from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs:
https://www.shutterstock.com/image-vector/maslows-hierarchy-needs-scalable-vector-ill
ustration-608461748

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