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Using one of the schools of thought in psychology below explain your behaviour during your first day at Wits. You are expected to fully describe the school of thought of your choice.

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Course Name: Introduction to Psychology I Course Code: PSYC 170Q Word count: 1225 (excluding reference list) Essay Topic: Using one of the schools of thought in psychology below explain your behaviour during your first day at Wits. You are expected to fully describe the school of thought of your choice. Also explain in which ways the school of thought you choose does and does not account for your behaviour. The schools of thought you may choose from are the psychodynamic perspective, the behaviourist perspective and the humanist perspective. 1 "You will either step forward into growth or you will step back into safety." - Abraham Maslow, 20th century humanistic psychologist From Motivation & Personality (1954) New York: Harper & Row Humanism, a contemporary theoretical perspective in modern psychology is used to explain the behaviour of Tate Salua*, a part-time student, during her first day at Wits University. The above school of thought is described, referring to the two predominant theorists in this area, Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers, and focuses on self-actualisation and self-concept. An explanation follows of how this perspective does and does not account for the student's behaviour. The psychodynamic perspective will be examined very briefly, as a comparative measure. Finally, the humanistic perspective will be evaluated. The humanistic approach, also known as the 'third force' (M�ller, 1995) ...read more.


The former being what we are, based on our experience, and the latter being what we want to be (Santrock, 2003). He posited that the greater the difference between the real and the ideal self, the more maladjusted the person. 3 Rogers proposed, that to reduce the gap, a person needed to do three things: develop a positive perception of themselves, not worry what others wanted them to be, and increase their positive experiences in the world. All people, according to Rogers, have the ability to become "a fully functioning person" (Santrock, 2003, p.492), the relevant attributes of this person being, open to experience, not overly defensive, having an awareness of and sensitivity to the self and external world, and engaging in harmonious relationships. Both Rogers and Maslow used case studies to formulate their theories (Santrock, 2003). Tate Selua, a 39-year-old female student, was asked to describe her first day at Wits University, with specific focus on her behaviour. She explained that on entering the university she felt a sense of excitement, anxiety and nervousness. Her reasons given were that the excitement was due to the realisation that she was taking the final step towards becoming a student again after a 20-year gap. Her anxiousness and nervous disposition were put down to, as she described "getting things right", in other words, the logistics of registering for a degree. ...read more.


A generalisation cannot be made by simply studying individuals, when the purpose of modern psychology (having a scientific basic and thus relying on empirical evidence) desires to find laws and principles that apply to the general population. Ironically, the idiographic approach of humanism is also its strength. The reason for this is, because the focus is on the individual, and his/her potential, great strides can be made to rise above circumstances and towards directing one's own life. The fact that humanism has had a strong influence in education, industry, the clinical setting, and the positive stimulation of psychology, is evidence that, despite it not being 'fool-proof' still holds sway in current thinking (M�ller, 1995). The humanistic approach can be used to describe certain, but not all behaviour, as has been demonstrated above. Self-actualisation and self-concept are strong focuses in this area, which centre on the individual, self-perception and assessment, their positive traits, the person as a whole and their potentiality. Although humanism has limitations as a method, it can be used in current settings in a constructive manner by applying the principles set out in this essay. Reference List: Bernstein, D.A & Nash, P.W. (2002). Essentials of Psychology (2nd Ed.). Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company M�ller, A.T. (1995). Perspectives on personality. Durban: Butterworth Publishers (Pty) Ltd Santrock, J.W. (2003). Psychology (7th Ed.). Dallas: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. Sternberg, R.J. (1998). In search of the human mind (2nd Ed.). Forthworth: Harcourt Brace * Not her real name ?? ?? ?? ?? Essay on Humanist Perspective ...read more.

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