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Humanistic Psychology

Psychology's "Third Force"


Carl Rogers was an important humanist thinker.

Psychologist Carl Rogers played a major role in founding humanistic psychology.

While the first half of the twentieth-century was dominated by psychoanalysis and behaviorism, a new school of thought known as humanistic psychology emerged during the second half of the century. Often referred to as the "third force" in psychology, this theoretical perspective emphasized conscious experiences.


American psychologist Carl Rogers is often considered to be one of the founders of this school of thought. While psychoanalysts looked at unconscious impulses and behaviorists focused purely on environmental causes, Rogers believed strongly in the power of free will and self-determination. Psychologist Abraham Maslow also contributed to humanistic psychology with his famous hierarchy of needs theory of human motivation.


Next: Contemporary Psychology

Further Reading:
Humanistic Psychology
Carl Rogers Biography
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

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