Describe and evaluate the humanistic approach in psychology. (10 marks)

[AO1 = 5, AO2 = 5]
AO1 Up to five marks for description of the features of the humanistic approach. Features could include how each person is unique and/or good. The subjective experiences, feelings and thoughts of a person should be of importance to psychologists (phenomenology). Focus on the importance of self and congruence. Self-actualisation every person has an innate tendency to reach his or her full potential. Hierarchy of Needs. Concept of free will able to choose and determine own actions. Conditions of worth. Unconditional positive regard the unconditional love is essential to the development of a well-adjusted adult. Client-centred therapy client at the centre of their own therapy in solving their own problems. The idiographic approach emphasis on understanding the uniqueness of a person. Concept of holism. Research methods used eg the Q-sort technique. Credit description of relevant evidence (one mark).

AO2 Up to five marks for evaluation. The following points are likely to be made: The humanistic approach has been criticised for its rejection of the scientific approach and its failure to use experiments to understand and predict human behaviour. There is little objective evidence to support the assumptions made by humanistic psychologists. Students may evaluate the approach in relation to other approaches, eg the behaviourist approach which views humans as passively responding to stimuli in the environment. Humanistic psychologists state that humans are active agents able to change and determine their own development. However, this may be seen as idealistic. Students may contrast the concept of free will with the deterministic features of other approaches, eg the biological approach. The value of a person-centred approach may be compared to the psychodynamic approach. Practical applications of the approach, eg motivation in business world and client centred therapy. Credit other relevant points. Credit use of relevant evidence.