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Humanistic Psychology has been refereed to as the Third Force: The First Force refers to behaviorism, a belief in conditioning as the predominant cause of human behavior, and to psychoanalytic psychology as the Second Force, the belief that the primary source of human behavior is the unconscious. Humanistic Psychology is a somewhat eclectic amalgam of constructivist, existential, phenomenological, transpersonal, feminist and other psychological theories and therapeutic approaches that are linked together by certain beliefs and values. Its pioneers included Fritz Perls, Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow during the 1950s and 60s, although some of the roots go back to existentialism. The link between these theories and approaches is the central concern for what it is to be human.
These tenets include, but are not limited to, the ideas that:
Life must be meaningful to the individual;
Human beings strive for wholeness;
Hope is necessary to life;
Creativity is an important, but higher order, phenomena;
The components of human psychological and physiological wellness;
The core of each person is good;
Each individual is unique;
There is a self to each person; and
That each human is always in a process of development.
Humanistic Psychology usually takes a qualitative approach to research, rather than a quantitative one. It was originally a psychology developed in reaction to what those in Humanistic Psychology saw as the mechanistic views of behaviorism and psychoanalysis. Humanistic Psychology is more apt to accept the subjective views of human beings about their experiences. It has had a far-reaching impact on our culture.