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Humanistic/Existential Approach & Free Will

What does the humanistic/existential approach say about free will? How does this conflict with what a behaviorist might say? Provide an example that supports each side.

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1. What does the humanistic/existential approach say about free will? How does this conflict with what a behaviorist might say? Provide an example that supports each side.

The Humanistic/Existential perspective is based on a quality versus quantity view of life. Seeking a reason for being and a meaning to life to become self-actualizing are the hallmarks of this perspective. Humanistic thought is more uplifting and spiritual, while the existentialists can seem bleak at times. Yet, both emphasize that the client owns his existence, and within the constraints of his situation the client can choose through exercising her or his free will to make the most of it or just subsist.

For example: As the Army says, "Be all you can be." As Microsoft says, "Where do you want to go today?" http://www.cincomsmalltalk.com/userblogs/troy/blogView?searchCategory=school

On the other hand, the Behavioral perspective is based in traditional behavioral and learning theory. Pavlov and Skinner are big names in this perspective, and the ideas of response to the environment, response extinction, and rewards/punishment come into play. This leaves little (or no) room for the human free will to be the determinant of behavior (e.g. "I decided to go to bed and read my book"), as all behavior is determined by the environment (e.g., "I went to bed, because it is rewarding to wake up early or because my mom told me to go to bed"). Although ...

Solution Summary

This solution explains the humanistic/existentials view on free will, as well as how this conflicts with what a behaviorist might say. Examples are provided.

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