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    Humanistic and Existential Personality Theories Matrix

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    What are the assumptions, reliability, validity and application of humanistic and existential personality theories?

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    As you know, the term "Holistic-Dynamic Theory" is not really used anymore - I hate to burst your bubble! But, the term is the same as saying "Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs". This theory was developed well over 50 years ago and has quite a bit of criticism in today's society and functioning world. Let's discuss the four limitations of Maslow's theory...

    To assume something means to believe something is true without really knowing the facts behind the concept (in general terms). So, in the idea of a limitation to assumption, we can really just realize that assuming (in itself) is a limitation. In the concept of HDT, assuming that people inherently have the same levels of needs is an assumption. Maslow assumes that people will all have a very dynamic need for safety and security - and will not move to the next level unless the subordinating level is satisfied. Does that make sense? For example, Maslow assumes that you will not have a need for autonomy until you have met the need for, ie. love and belonging. Is it safe to assume that we all have the same needs? No - because we all have different levels of drive and assuming we all have the same level of needs is a limitation.

    To be reliable, the thing, concept, idea, etc. must be the same over and over again and produce the same results. In thinking about the limitations to reliability in Maslow's theory, there are a few. If one is saying that the HDT theory is reliable, they are saying that every person has the same needs, and that because everyone has the same needs, the hierarchy is efficient in demonstrating people's needs (because everyone has the same ones). However, the limitation to this is that "how can the hierarchies of needs be reliable if people have different needs"? In other words, the limitation to reliability is that if you are stating the model is reliable, you are projecting that without a doubt, everyone will need to conquer one need before they can move on to the next need. What if someone did not have the need for love and belonging - does that mean that they will never be able to experience the rewards of autonomy or self-actualization...they get stuck on one level for the rest of their life and can not move to the other levels? THAT - makes this model unreliable. Food for thought :) - think about those that are severely cognitively delayed or imprisoned...

    When talking about the reliability and validity, in any of these theories, they will sound a bit the same...but there are subtle nuances. For example, the term validity (in my opinion) means that something actual is what it is - not produces the same results as in reliability. If something is what it states it is...then it is valid. If you have a blood test and the results are provided to you, you expect them to valid - what they are is what you expect them to be. In terms of thinking of the validity of this theory - is what it is actually what it is? Is people's needs actually what Maslow said they were? How about William Glasser's (Control Theory/Reality Therapy) example of needs? Glassar states that people are driven by five categories of needs - the need for survival, the need for love and belonging, the need for power or recognition, the need for freedom and the need for fun. There are a few that are the same as Maslow, but who's to say that Glasser is not right or Maslow is not right? So, in discussing the limitations of validity, I would say that there is not enough scientific evidence to prove Maslow's needs are valid and apply to all people across all spectrums - and where does Maslow speak to needs of different cultures or generations? If ...

    Solution Summary

    In this solution, you will learn the basics of humanistic and existential personality theories as well as their assumptions, reliability, validity and application. This solution analyzes how humanistic and existential theories affect individual personalities. Blank matrix included. 2461 Words.