This lesson is going to look at the ideas of self and how they relate to personality by covering:
- Self and Self-Actualization
- Roger's Theory of Self
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
1. Self and Self-Actualization
Humanism is a theory of psychology that emphasizes a person’s perspectives about growth and potential within themselves. The important figures to remember for this theory are Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow.
One key aspect of this theory is the idea of self and how it can lead to our personality. Both of these psychologists wanted to identify what were the best possible conditions for human growth, and that led to the development of theories of self and self-actualization.
- Congruence of ideal self, real self, and self-concept
2. Roger's Theory of Self
Roger's self theory stated that a person’s self, or personality, is composed of three different parts:
Self-concept or self-image, which is a person's image or idea of himself or herself. This includes self-esteem and a person’s estimation of their worth. Other people's opinions can have a huge influence on what a person thinks of themselves, and this influence can create conditions of worth.
If a parent says that their child is a bad or naughty person, then that child is more likely to think that they're a bad or naughty person, and their behavior will reflect that.
Ideal self, which is an image that a person has of what they would like to be. It might not necessarily be possible to be your ideal self. This ideal self can be shaped by a person's values, culture, and upbringing.
Real self or true self, which is what a person is actually like. It includes elements like a person's abilities, their physical appearance, and anything that would contribute to who they are as a person.
- Roger's Self Theory
- Emphasizes current, subjective understanding; self-concept, real self, ideal self
- Our total perception of ourselves; mental picture based on our perception (positive and negative) of our traits, behaviors, abilities
- Conditions of Worth
- Internalized standards of judgments that evaluate our behavior, emotions, and thoughts
- Ideal Self
- Who we would like to be
- Real Self
- True representation of the person we are
According to Rogers, the way that these three aspects of self interact leads to our personality. Incongruence
is when these aspects of personality are unbalanced, meaning there are differences between our self-concept, our ideal self, and/or our true self. An individual is not aligned as a person. A person might have unrealistic expectations about what they're actually able to achieve. Their self-concept and ideal self are apart from each other, which leads to stress and anxiety.
- Inaccurate self-image; self-image differs from the ideal self
- 1b. Congruence
The ideal situation is congruence, which is when a person is honest and has come to terms with what their abilities and potentials are. All aspects do not have to match exactly, but should be very closely aligned. Rogers referred to this as a fully-functioning persona. This is a person that has found a balance between their thoughts and feelings, and they have a balanced personality. A fully-functioning persona is a person that's congruent.
- Parts of self are in alignment and balanced
- Fully-Functioning Persona
- Person who strives to live in harmony with their present impulses and feelings
2. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow expanded on Rogers' ideas of self, and said that there were certain needs that a person had which were not necessarily simply internal. Having both the internal and external needs met allows a person to become fully functioning. This is what Maslow called his hierarchy of needs. It's what you would consider to be the soil, or what's necessary for a person to grow.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs are external and internal conditions necessary for a person to become fully functioning; lower needs must be met prior to higher needs, but higher needs must be met for a fulfilling life.
At the bottom are basic kinds of needs. These are physiological needs, which are food, water, shelter, as well as a sense of safety. Above that are social and emotional needs that a person might have, like the need for love and belonging. Moving further up is the need for esteem and cognitive needs, and at the top is self-actualization.
Maslow's idea is that a person needs to fulfill the lower needs first. A person needs to be able to feel safe and have what they need to survive before they can go on to the stages at the top. According to Maslow, those higher needs must be reached in order to have a fulfilled life
- Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
- External and internal conditions necessary for a person to become fully functioning; lower needs must be met prior to higher needs, but higher needs must be met for a fulfilling life
Roger’s theory of self stated that the personality is made of three parts: self-concept, ideal self, and real self. When these are aligned, it creates congruence, which is the ideal state. When congruence is achieved, it will lead to a fully-functioning persona.
Maslow expanded on this by saying that a person has certain needs that must be met first. Maslow's hierarchy of needs depicts lower needs, which are physical ones like food, shelter, and safety. The highest level is self-actualization, which is achieved when an individual has a fully-functioning persona.