The dispositional and humanistic perspectives of personality

Essay by jivedoggUniversity, Bachelor'sB, March 2003

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Description: This essay was for a 2nd year psychology class called 'personality'. The essay asked the writer to examine several philosophical issues from both a dispositional and humanistic perspective.


For many years, the argument over which perspective on personality is the more valid has been debated. Two of the more apposed parties have been the dispositional and humanistic perspectives. The dispositional perspective has long argued for a biological account of traits. This can then be associated with predictable personalities which in turn govern certain behavioural tendencies. The humanistic perspective on the other hand refuses to believe that people's traits, personalities and overall behaviours are pre-determined. A strong believer of free will, the humanistic perspective has always argued that despite environmental and biological factors, people have the ability to act and change in ways that they themselves govern. Thiss essay set out to look at the two arguments by looking at several well known philosophical issues from the two perspectives.

Although there was no one better argument over the debate, each perspective provided good points to suppost their views. In the end, it was suggested the the answer may not lie in one single explanation of personality, but perhaps a coilition between the two perspectives.

The dispositional and humanistic perspectives of certain philosophical issues: freedom vs. determinism, optimism vs. pessimism, and uniqueness vs. universality

The humanistic approach to personality was developed by Carl Rogers. Roger's was the first to view people's problems as stemming from an individuals conscious and guilt. He strongly believed that if these two factors could be eliminated, there would be nothing to hold a person back from freedom, creativity and joy. Roger's also believed it was important for people to love themselves and accept themselves, because these were steps to solving problems.

Perhaps the greatest contributor...