Development of The Field
These preliminary meetings eventually led to other developments, which culminated in the description of humanistic psychology as a recognizable "third force" in psychology (along with behaviorism and psychoanalysis). Significant developments included the formation of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) in 1961 and the launch of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (originally "The Phoenix") in 1961.
Subsequently, graduate programs in Humanistic Psychology at institutions of higher learning grew in number and enrollment. In 1971, humanistic psychology as a field was recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) and granted its own division (Division 32) within the APA. Division 32 publishes its own academic journal called The Humanistic Psychologist.
The major theorists considered to have prepared the ground for Humanistic Psychology are Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Rollo May. Maslow was heavily influenced by Kurt Goldstein during their years together at Brandeis University. Psychoanalytic writers also influenced humanistic psychology. Maslow himself famously acknowledged his "indebtedness to Freud" in Towards a Psychology of Being Other psychoanalytic influences include the work of Wilhelm Reich, who discussed an essentially 'good', healthy core self and Character Analysis (1933), and Carl Gustav Jung's mythological and archetypal emphasis. Other noteworthy inspirations for and leaders of the movement include Roberto Assagioli, Gordon Allport, Medard Boss, Martin Buber (close to Jacob L. Moreno), James Bugental, Victor Frankl, Erich Fromm, Hans-Werner Gessmann, Amedeo Giorgi, Kurt Goldstein, Sidney Jourard, R. D. Laing, Clark Moustakas, Lewis Mumford, Fritz Perls, Anthony Sutich, Thomas Szasz, Kirk J. Schneider, and Ken Wilber. Carl Rogers was trained in psychoanalysis before developing humanistic psychology.
A human science view is not opposed to quantitative methods, but, following Edmund Husserl:
- favors letting the methods be derived from the subject matter and not uncritically adopting the methods of natural science, and
- advocates for methodological pluralism. Consequently, much of the subject matter of psychology lends itself to qualitative approaches (e.g., the lived experience of grief), and quantitative methods are mainly appropriate when something can be counted without leveling the phenomena (e.g., the length of time spent crying).
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