Humanistic Psychology and Modern Education
From the history of humanistic psychologyThe origins of humanistic psychology, admittedly by historians of science, should be sought in the philosophical traditions of the Renaissance humanists, the French Enlightenment, German Romanticism, German classical philosophy, the traditions of European and, above all, United States fiction in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and in the teachings of existentialists and eastern philosophical and religious systems.
However, as an independent trend, humanistic psychology took shape only in the early 1960s. She contrasted herself, on the one hand, with behaviorism, with its mechanistic approach to the study of the human psyche, on the other - psychoanalysis, for the ideas cultivated by him about the rigid predetermination of the sources of psychic life.
So, if the behaviorists believed that our inner world is completely dependent on the influence of environmental factors, psychoanalysts, on the contrary, perceived man as a slave of drives and instincts. The leaders of humanistic psychology (A. Maslow, K. Rogers, and others) proposed a new view of the nature of the human psyche. They defended the idea of the integrity of human nature, emphasized the role of conscious experience, freedom of choice, creative initiative, people's striving for self-improvement.
The doctrine of self-actualization A. Maslow
Supporters of humanistic psychology defended the value of the identity of the individual, the uniqueness of any person, his dissimilarity in others. They believed that every person is able to determine the way in life and to reveal his unique personal potential. Contrary to psychoanalysts, they argued that our desires initially did not contain anything low, dark and evil. They do not need to be suppressed, they need to be trusted, they need to be listened to. The main driving force of human behavior - the desire for self-realization, self-improvement.
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This originally inherent desire to reveal its inner potential, representatives of humanistic psychology consider the main motivating motive of human creativity (K. Goldstein, K. Rogers, etc.).
The first visible sprouts of this aspiration are manifested already in childhood and in order to successfully develop, they must be supported in every possible way by education. A significant contribution to the development of this problem was made by A. Maslow, who believed that people were originally genetically motivated to search for personal goals, and this makes their life significant and meaningful. Man's development he represented as climbing the "ladder of needs". Needs pyramid A. Maslow has gained wide popularity and has been reproduced many times in many works, so we will briefly recall that it includes five levels:
- the first level is physiological needs (needs related to maintaining the internal environment of the body and the need for non-homeostatic nature - sleep, sex, etc.);
- the second level - the need for security, stability, confidence, security, etc.;
- the third level - the need for love and affection, communication, the desire to have a place in the group, etc.
- the fourth level - the need for respect, self-esteem, independence, independence, skill, etc.;
- the fifth level - the need for self-actualization, self-actualization in creativity.
They are all congenital and, in fact, are instincts. The actualization of various motives, according to A. Maslow, depends on whether the needs of previous, lower levels are satisfied. One of the most striking concepts actively developed by A. Maslow and closely related to humanistic psychology is self-actualization.
Self-actualization, according to A. Maslow, is the desire of a person to constantly embody, realize, objectify himself, his abilities, his essence. People who are most prone to self-actualization, according to A. Maslow, the dominant motive of behavior is most often the joy of using their abilities, and this is different from those who seek to satisfy the needs for what they lack.
A. Maslow argued that creativity is an indispensable characteristic of the very nature of man, and creative abilities are not the lot of the elect, they are laid in each of us. But with this, but the evaluation of A. Maslow himself, in practice self-actualization is a great rarity. A. Maslow carried out a number of empirical studies. In the beginning, he specifically studied the biographies of self-actualizers (B. Spinoza, A. Lincoln, A. Einstein, T. Roosevelt, and others). Then he selected students from American colleges with similar characteristics. It was found that only 1% of students have similar characteristics, and even fewer can implement them.
Dedicated A. Maslow complex of mental properties inherent in self-actualizing people, was quite large:
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1. More effective perception of reality. They see reality as it is, and not as it would like to see it.
2. Accepting yourself, others and nature. Self-actualizing people can bear the weaknesses of others and not be afraid of their strength.
3. Immediate, simple, natural. In this category of people there is no tendency to hypocrisy. Their principles are to be, not to appear, they are open and sincere.
4. Focus on the problem. A. Maslow argued that all the individuals he studied, who clearly showed the need and the ability to self-actualization, were committed to some task, duty, vocation or favorite work that they considered important. That is, they were not egocentric, but rather focused on problems that are beyond their immediate needs, which they considered to be a vital mission for themselves.
5. Independence, the need for privacy. Self-actualizing people can be alone and not feel lonely. And the condition for this is the constant, intensive work of their inner world, the focus on solving the tasks that occupy their minds.
6. Autonomy and relative independence from culture and environment. These qualities, according to A. Maslow, allow them to rely on their own potential and on internal sources of growth and development.
7. Freshness of perception. Self-actualizing people have the ability to appreciate even the most ordinary events in life, while experiencing novelty, reverence, pleasure and even ecstasy.
8. Vertex or mystical experiences. Emerging in self-actualizing people, they are ecstatic states that are experienced at the culminating moments in breakthroughs of creativity, illumination, discovery or merging with nature.
9. Public interest. It is expressed in self-actualizing people in the form of a feeling of compassion, sympathy and love for mankind.
10. Deep interpersonal relationships. As A. Maslow established, usually the circle of close friends among self-actualizing people is small, as it turns out that friendly relations in the style of self-actualization require a lot of time and considerable effort.
11. Self-actualizing personalities are the most democratic people. They have no prejudice and therefore they respect other people. At the same time, they do not consider other people equal.
12. Differentiation of means and purposes. Self-actualizers adhere to certain moral norms, they have an inherent sense of differentiation of goals and means to achieve them.
13. Philosophical sense of humor. A. Maslow noted that because of this attitude towards humor, self-actualizing people often seem restrained and serious.
14. Creativity. A. Maslow argued that all people without exception, inclined to self-actualization, have the ability to creativity and this ability does not cease to manifest.
15. Resistance to acculturation. Self-actualized people, although they are in harmony with their culture, can nevertheless be extremely independent and unconventional if some of their main values are affected.
According to A. Maslow, self-actualizing people are examples of mental health. They show to everyone that the potential of the psychological growth of mankind is much higher than that achieved by the majority of people. At the same time, he notes that self-actualizers, as a rule, are far from being angels. They are characterized by mental breakdowns, feelings of anxiety, and doubts about their capabilities.
To a large extent, thanks to humanistic psychology, there has been a surge of interest in the study of consciousness. This had not only a powerful impact on education, but also contributed to the emergence and development of cognitive psychology.
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