What is Humanistic Psychology?

Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that emphasizes thestudy of the whole person. Humanistic psychologists look at human behavior notonly through the eyes of the observer, but through the eyes of the person doingthe behaving. Humanistic psychologists believe that an individual's behavior isconnected to his inner feelings and self-image.

Unlike the behaviorists, humanistic psychologists believe that humans arenot solely the product of their environment. Rather humanistic psychologistsstudy human meanings, understandings, and experiences involved in growing,teaching, and learning. They emphasize characteristics that are shared by allhuman beings such as love, grief, caring, and self-worth.

Humanistic psychologists study how people are influenced by theirself-perceptions and the personal meanings attached to their experiences. Humanistic psychologists are not primarily concerned with instinctual drives,responses to external stimuli, or past experiences. Rather, they considerconscious choices, responses to internal needs, and current circumstances to beimportant in shaping human behavior.


Humanistic psychologists believe that: