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Existential Psychology

What are the underlying assumptions of Existential Psychology (i.e., core personality, core characteristics, views of human development, etc.)? Thanks.

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1. What are the underlying assumptions of Existential Psychology (i.e., core personality, core characteristics, views of human development, etc.)? Thanks.

Existential Psychology

Existential Psychology represents a synthesis of philosophy and psychology. The philosophical bases were formed by Kierkegaard and Heidegger. The most popular one-sentence summary is "existence precedes essence". The followers who have translated their thinking into statements about personality include the Europeans Ludwig Binswanger, Medard Boss, and Victor Frankl. Major American theorists include Rollo May and Paul Tillich, but I will also include some writings of Salvatore Maddi. The following notes represent an attempt at a synthesis of the writings of many theorists. I will not attempt to associate each concept with it's originator. You can get this detailed information in a graduate class. The writings of Rollo May are considered as a primary source.

Core of Personality

I. Core Tendency: To achieve authentic being. Being signifies the special quality of human mentality (aptly called intentionality), that makes life a series of decisions, each involving an alternative that precipitates persons into an unknown future and an alternative that pushes them back into a routine, predictable past. Choosing the future brings ontological anxiety (fear of the unknown), whereas choosing the safe status quo brings ontological guilt (sense of missed opportunity). Authenticity involves accepting this painful state of affairs and finding the courage or hardiness to persist in the face of ontological anxiety and choose the future, thereby minimizing ontological guilt.

II. Core Characteristics:

A. Being-in-the -world: This concept emphasizes the unity of person and environment, since, in this heavily phenomenological position, both are subjectively defined. Being-in-the-world has three components:

1. Umwelt ("world around") - the natural world of biological urge and drive.
2. Mitwelt ("with-world") - the social, interactive, interpersonal aspects of existence.

3. Eigenwelt ("own world") - the subjective, phenomenological world of the self.

B. Six ontological ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the underlying assumptions of Existential Psychology (i.e., core personality, core characteristics, views of human development, etc.).

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