Friday, October 24, 2014

Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality

          Feist and Feist, (2009), “although no single definition is acceptable to all personality theorists, we can say that personality is a pattern of relatively permanent traits and unique characteristics that give both consistency and individuality to a person’s behavior” (p. 4). There are varying aspects that determine personality. Also, there are varying different approaches concerning the development of personality in psychology. An approach is a certain perspective involving particular assumptions; that is, in regard to personality for instance, the development of personality and what aspects affect such development. In regard to such approaches to personality, two approaches in particular, that is, biological and humanistic approaches provide explanations as to the development of personality. Not only do these two approaches explain the development of personality, but also does the use of Maslow's hierarchy of needs in explaining the extent of growth needs have on influencing the formation of personality. Also, influencing the formation of personality are particular biological factors; which also have a relationship with Marlow’s theory of personality. However, biological explanations of personality are incompatible with basic aspects of the humanistic theory.
Growth Needs Influencing Personality Formation
          American psychologist, Abraham Harold Maslow was famously known for creating a hierarchy of needs; referred to as Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Such hierarchy of needs can explain the extent of influence that growth needs have on the formation of personality. Therefore, Maslow would divide organismic needs into groups of needs. First, there are physiological needs, including shelter, sex, water, and food. Therefore, moving to the next level of needs requires meeting these lower levels of needs first. Second, there are safety needs; incorporating security and safety; therefore, seeking safety through other individuals and striving to find protection is a necessity. Growth will only continue when meeting such goals in regard to thinking about needs of a higher level. Third are love and belonging needs; including a need for belonging, acceptance, and love. Once such needs are met seeking out friendships brings about feelings of belonging.
          Also focus is on desires of being accepted, fitting in, and a sense of belong. Fourth, esteem needs, including the need for respect, competence, education, and achievement. Therefore, what occurs is a focus of energy on a sense of accomplishment, respect for other individuals, self-respect, and respect from other individuals also. Last is the need for self-actualization; therefore, realizing one’s fullest potential. In Maslow’s belief was that self-actualization was the highest form of need. In his hierarchical of needs, lower needs have to be largely satisfied in order for higher needs to become of importance (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Indeed, the formation of personality is under the influence of growth needs.
Biological Factors Influencing Formation of Personality
          In regard to biological factors and personality, it is clearly evident that genetic makeup has a critical influence on the formation of personality; and in such a complex means. Biological theorists hold the belief that genetics have a role in determining or have a significant role in the formation of personality. Genes along with intelligence are determining factors in the formation personality. However, if biological factors do not have a direct effect on personality then how a human looks affects how they perceive themselves and how other humans interact with them. In regard to the indirect affect, that is, a determining factors of how a human will develop into adulthood. Therefore, the formation of personality indeed relies on biological factors.
Relationships between of Biological Factors and Maslow’s Theory
            Indeed there is a relationship involving Marlow’s theory of personality and biological factors. To a particular extent, Maslow’s hierarchy of personality relate to biological factors because biological factors such as physical characteristics, heredity, and the brain are a necessities during levels of growth. Every behavior and action such as enlightenment, security, the needs for basic needs, and others are behaviors and actions resulting from internal and biological instincts. Also, physiological needs such as sex, sleep, food, and breathing are significantly biological requirements. In particular ways the relationship between Marlow's theory of personality and biological is critical.   
Humanistic Theory Incompatibility with Biological Explanations
          Humanistic theories’ basic concepts and biological explanations or theories differ significantly. Also, the subject matter and ideology of humanistic theories’ approach to personality differ from biological theories. Humanistic theories allow for self-fulfillment, heroism, true creativity and for free will in regard to personality development. In regard to self-fulfillment that is, becoming not being or moving towards self-fulfillment in regard to a healthy personality. Self-actualization is the innate process that allows humans to realize self-potential and develop spiritually (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Humanistic theories focus on the present tense instead of looking toward the future or past; therefore, the more so important aspects of human personality are self-worth and what occurs presently. Humans that are healthy are responsible for taking responsibility for oneself; regardless of behavior.
          Also, every human possesses inherent worth; as well as the goal of life is achieving understanding and personal growth. Humanistic theories follow beliefs in regard to every human relying not on thought processes but rather on feelings. Humanistic theories derive from dynamic and complex inner motives that do not hold compatibility with the biological explanations in regard to human personalities; such as with biological theories focusing on thought processes instead of a sense of self-worth, and with biological or genetic influences or structures that determine personality; therefore, biological theories follow beliefs in regard to personality being under the control of genetics (Friedman & Schustack, 2011). Humanistic and biological theories differ tremendously.
            Approaches such as biological and humanistic provide assumptions in regard to the development of personality. Using Maslow’s hierarchy of needs as previously seen is necessary when discussing the extent that personality formation is under the influence of growth needs. Also, as particular biological factors have an effect on influencing the formation of personality as well. Examining such biological factors assists in understanding the relationship to Maslow’s theory of personality. Also, as previously explained, particular aspects of the humanistic theory are not compatible with personality’s biological explanations.  

Friedman, H.S., & Schustack, M.W., (2011). Personality: Classic Theories and Modern Research (5th ed.). Allyn & Bacon.

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