Humanistic Approaches to Personality – Sample Paper

Assignment Instructions

Write a 1,050- to 1,400-word paper analyzing the humanistic approaches to personality. Your paper should cover the following areas:

  • Compare person-centered theory with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs..
  • Use Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to discuss the extent to which growth needs influence personality formation.
  • Outline the main components of person-centered theory that contribute to personality development.
  • Identify which theory you relate to most, and explain why.

Include an introduction and conclusion in your paper.

Humanistic Approaches to Personality Sample Paper


Personality entails not just the genetic traits but also the behavioral and cognitive patterns which influence how people think and act. Personality traits are highly influenced by the environment in which one thrives in and the individual experience. This highly molds a person and also dictates individual desire of what they would like to be to feel complete. This paper analyses Maslow’s hierarchy needs theory and Rogers Personal-Centered Theory and their contribution to personality traits development.

Read also McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory and the Hawthorne Studies

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs vs. Person-Centered Theory

The Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is a motivational theory that identifies seven groups of needs which are commonto all individuals. These needs are presented in a pyramid with the last four layers focusing on deficiency needs and the three upper layers focusing on growth needs. The first need is the physiological needs which focus on needs such as food, water, shelter, and sex. The second level is security and safety needs, followed by belongingness and love needs, and self-esteem and self-worth needs. The upper needs include need to understand and know, aesthetic needs and self-actualization needs. While deficiency needs are motivated by lack, while growth needs are motivated by inner desire to grow (Martin & Joomis, 2007).

Read also Main Components of each of the Psychoanalytic-Social Personality Theories

On the contrary, Rogers’ Person-Centered Theory does not focus on other human needs but only centers with the desire to attain actualization. It can thus be said to be similar to the last level of the Maslow theory of hierarchy needs. According to Rogers, human contain fundamental actualizing tendency that aims at developing all capabilities in manners that enhance and maintain the organization and push it toward autonomy. The tendency is present, constructive and directional in all living things. This tendency based on the theory can never be destroyed without the organism destruction but it can be suppressed. This perception can be said to match the self-actualization level in Maslow theory which focus on enhancing growth and accomplishing human desire, which are said to change overtime and hence, they are never fully satisfied (Capuzzi& Stauffer, 2016).

Extent to which Growth Needs Influence Personality Formation

Maslow motivational theory defined hierarchy of needs in a five-tier model. The five-tier model can be divided into two types of needs that include growth needs and deficiency needs. The first for levels are regarded as deficiency needs while the top level is regarded as being or growth needs. Growth need according to Maslow do not emerge from a lack of anything, but from desire to grow as an individual. Growth needs are not motivated or driven by deficiencies but on individual desire for personal development and growth and the need to turning to all things that an individual is capable of. This implies that the individual inner desire to grow and to attain a certain level in life may influence the kind of characters one adapt to be able to attain their growth goal (Martin& Joomis, 2007).

Read also Myer-Briggs Type Indicator And Big Five – Personality Test Assessment Tools

The need to grow provokes individual aspect of problem solving as the way to eliminate obstacles that may interfere with this growth. The mode of problem solving based on identified problems may play a great role in formation of a personality. Personality is mainly influenced by genetics which in this case can be defined as the ability to grow. Meaning innate traits that gives a person the ability to purse a course, and acquired traits based on the environment; experience in the struggle to attain growth. The experience influence people judgment and life approach in the future, and hence devising their unique way of handling life obstacle which eventually turn into a personality (Martin & Joomis, 2007).

Main Components of Persona-Centered Theory that Contribute to Personality Development

The main components of persona-centered theory which contribute to personality development is the self-concepts. Self-concepts are comprised of two main components that include incongruence and congruence. Rogers believed that human behavior is driven by self-actualizing tendencies that drive an individual toward attaining their highest level of desire. A structure of self-concept or self is formed due to human interaction with the environment. Self-concept refers to fluid, organized, conceptual pattern of values and concepts associated with the self. Individual with negative self-concept tends to feel unhappy with themselves, while those who have positive self-concept are inclined to feeling good. Congruency occurs when a person perception of self matches their actual self, while incongruence occurs when the person perception of self does not match who they actually are. According to Rogers, the desire to attain ideal self-play a great role in molding human personality (Pescitelli, 1996).

Theory that I Relate to Most

The two theories make an important contribution in molding personality. However, Maslow theory relates most to me. In my opinion, individual personality traits are highly built by experience and this experience can be highly demonstrated by deficiency needs and desire to fulfill them. Lack of basics of life can result to development of either positive trait in determination to acquire more or negative traits in struggle to survive. Deficiency in love, security and sense of belonging may push one in perceiving life negatively which can influence individual personality. Maslow states that none can only attain self-actualization by fulfilling most of their deficiency needs though not in the given order. This means the desire for growth and molding individual personality is highly determined by life experience in the struggle to fulfill deficiencies. For instance, lack of food may push a person into working hard to earn more, borrowing or stealing. This however depends on genetic capability of a person or belief about life. This means other than needs there is another force thatinfluences how these needs will influence behaviors and their level of existence to qualify as personality traits.


The two theorist Rogers and Maslow have made a great contribution in explaining how personality is developed. Their main difference is that Maslow found his theory to an advance ground where all human needs are involved while Rogers only centers on self-actualization aspect which is addressed as the highest level of human needs by Maslow. Based on analysis, individual personality is influenced by individual inner desire for growth or attaining a certain level of growth in life. This desire keeps on advancing such that when a level is attained one desires more and keeps on devising ways to attain the new level of desire. The experience and strategies placed to device this are what mold individual character.

Get Your Custom Paper From Professional Writers. 100% Plagiarism Free, No AI Generated Content and Good Grade Guarantee. We Have Experts In All Subjects.

Place Your Order Now
Scroll to Top