The role of the humanistic movement in the history of psychology

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Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


A review of history of psychology textbooks shows that humanistic psychology is in crisis. Although well understood and respected by some, it is inadequately understood and dismissed by many. The value of the movement is shown to hinge on whether it faithfully embodies the historical tradition of humanism, provides an appropriate philosophical foundation for psychology, asserts relevant critiques of contemporary psychology, affords the discipline theoretical unity, offers rigorous research methodologies, bridges the gap between psychology and the humanities, and assumes leadership in socially reforming the depersonalizing tendencies of modern culture. It is argued that the best work in humanistic psychology has achieved these virtues, and that the major criticisms of the movement do not apply to this work. The contemporary crisis is attributed to sociological factors-inadequate institutional establishments necessary to gain historical impact.

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