Humanistic Approach. Humanistic psychologists believe that all humans are essentially good and that each is motivated to realize his or her full potential. Feeling good about yourself is simply a function of fulfilling your needs and goals, or at the very least, constantly aspiring to do so. The humanistic approach works on individual empowerment and humanistic psychologists believe in the good of mankind and emphasize the individual’s inherent drive towards self-actualization and creativity. With this approach, the sole focus is on strengths.
Below is a graphic to summarizes the above and illustrates which perspectives focus on dysfunction and which focus on performance.
How Each Perspective Applies to Assessment Theory
The Freudian and behavioral approaches focus on diving into an individual’s dysfunction, and assumes the key to increased performance and better living is a matter of identifying these dysfunctions, labelling them, and becoming self-aware of the impact that they have on our internal thought processes. For Freudians and behaviorists, the goal is to get back to a “Personality State of Zero.” Any assessments that fall in this range simply seek to exhume dark aspects of our personality and bring them to light.