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    Chapter Eleven

    Self-Actualization and

    Self-Determination

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    Self-Actualization

    Carl Rogers

    Actualizationtendency to develop capabilities

    in ways that maintain or enhance the organism

    (present in all living creatures) Self-Actualizationpromotes maintenance or

    enhancement of the self

    Moves person toward greater autonomy and self-

    sufficiency

    Promotes congruence, organization, wholeness, and

    integration in the person

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    Self-Actualization (Continued)

    Organismic value processmechanism

    that evaluates whether experiences are

    actualizing

    If not, nagging sense that something isnt

    right

    If yes, person is operating as fully functional

    person

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    Need for Positive Regard

    Strong motive for love, friendship, andaffection from important others

    Unconditional Positive Regardgiven without

    any conditions or contingencies Conditional Positive Regardgiven only in

    situations that meet particular conditions Conditions of Worthconditions under which a

    person is considered worthy of regard Conditional Self-Regardapplication of conditions

    of worth to self

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    Implications of

    Conditions of Worth

    Conflicts between self-actualization andfulfilling conditions of worth

    Example: Desire to be a musician in conflictwith recognition of parents aspirations fortheir child to be a doctor

    Sometimes hard to tell true desire from

    conditions of worth Condition of worth is a precondition for

    acceptance and is always coercive

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    Self-Determination

    Ed Deci

    Three needs that must be satisfied for a

    life of growth, integrity, and well-being

    Autonomy (Self-determination)

    Competence

    Relatedness

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    Self-Determination

    Self-Determined Actionsdone because

    of intrinsic value to self

    Longer interest is maintained

    Controlled Actionsdone to gain payment

    or satisfy external pressure

    Rewards can undermine intrinsic value of

    some activities and turn them into controlledactions

    Activities are resistant to this effect if the reward

    informs you about your competency

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    Need for Relatedness

    Represents an intrinsic need

    Characterized by genuine connectednesswith others and unconditional acceptance

    Not a need based on pressure or demand

    Not in conflict with autonomy

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    Self-Concordance

    Pursuit of goals that are consistent with core

    values

    These bring more contribution to a sense of

    well-being Creates a positive spiral of benefit

    Pursuit ofcore goals

    Greater

    effort

    Higher

    success

    More

    satisfaction

    Higher

    well-being

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    Free Will

    Emphasizes that people are free todetermine:

    How they act

    What to become If they are to be self-actualized or accept

    conditions of worth

    Reactance

    assertion of freedom when athreat to freedom is perceived

    Perceptions of free will can beexperimentally manipulated

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    The Self

    Development of the self represents

    gradual differentiation during infancy

    Self-Conceptset of qualities a person

    sees as being a part of herself

    Actualperception of the way you really are

    Idealwhat you really want to be

    Self-actualization creates a closer fit

    between the actual and ideal selves

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    Incongruity, Disorganization,

    and Defense

    Incongruencea disorganization in the self that is

    detected by the organismic value process

    Leads to anxiety Can cause low self-esteem

    Ways to defend against anxiety of incongruence

    Distortions of the experience

    Rationalization

    Prevent from reaching awareness

    Denial

    Avoid situations that trigger perceptions of incongruence

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    Self-Esteem Maintenance

    and Enhancement Defenses protect and maintain self-esteem

    Conditions necessary for an event to have an effect onself-esteem Event attributable to you

    Event must be interpreted as good or bad Defense against failures

    Minimize negativity of event (wasnt so bad)

    Resist attributions to stable qualities of self

    Blame others, lack of effort, excuses

    Enhancement through success Attribute to stable characteristics of self

    Claim control of those characteristics

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    Self-Handicapping

    Acting in a way that creates condition forfailure

    Hard goals and substantial risk of failure

    represent threats to self-esteem Create an external situation on which

    potential failure can be attributed and self-

    esteem can be maintained No threat to stable qualities of the self

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    Hierarchy of Motives

    Abraham Maslow

    Focused on most

    well-adjusted, fullyfunctioning people

    Examined

    motivations and

    how they are

    organized

    Self-

    actualization

    need

    Esteem

    needs

    Love and

    belonging needs

    Safety and physical

    security needs

    Physiological needs

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    Implication of Hierarchy

    Low-level needs are more primitive anddemanding than higher-level needs

    Power of motive forces decrease as you go up

    the pyramid Higher-level motives represent more distinctly

    human characteristics

    Needs at lower level must be met before

    attending to higher-level needs Low-level needs are deficit motivated and high-

    level needs are growth motivated

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    Self-Actualizers

    Efficient and accurate in perceiving reality Accepting of themselves, others, and of nature

    Spontaneous in thought and emotion, natural rather thanartificial

    Problem-centered, concerned with eternal philosophical

    questions Independent and autonomous when it comes to

    satisfactions

    Freshness of appreciation of ordinary events

    Deep ties, but only with a few persons

    Appreciate, for its own sake the process of doing things

    Philosophical, thoughtful, nonhostile sense of humor

    Maintain inner detachment from culture in which they live

    Appear temperamental and even ruthless

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    Peak Experiences

    Times when actualization is clearlyoccurring

    Heightened sense of connection to

    elements in surrounding environment Clarity of perception

    Distortion of time

    Subjective feelings of awe, wonder, andecstasy

    More common during work than leisure

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    Existential Psychology

    Emphasis on individuals personal experience inlife with a focus on the existential dilemma

    Central constructDasein Translates as being-in-the-world

    Conveys a sense of experience as an autonomous,separate, evolving entity in the world

    Key issue in life is the inevitability of death Results in angst

    How to respond to this realization

    Nothingness Authentic Being

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    Terror Management

    Attempt to construct lives imbued with

    meaning and value as a response to the

    potential terror of mortality

    Often define meaning by social and

    cultural processes

    Group identity is important

    Rejection of indications of animal nature

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    Assessment

    Many assessment techniques

    Interviewcontent analysis organizes

    responses into meaningful groups

    Q-SortSort items into piles that correspond

    to particular criteria (e.g., most like you to

    least like you)

    Inventories for self-actualization, autonomy,and control

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    Problems in Behavior

    Problems arise from:

    Incongruity and the negative affect that results

    Living in order to meet conditions of worth

    Not living in ways that promote self-

    acutalization

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    Therapy

    Client-Centered Therapy:

    Responsibility for improvement lies with client

    Removes distractions, so self-actualization processes

    can move client toward greater integration Therapist demonstrates unconditional positive regard

    and empathy

    Nonevaluative, rather therapist reflects with

    Clarification of feelings Restatement of content

    And then beyond therapy to personal growth to be a fully

    functioning person

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    Self-Actualization and Self-Determination:

    Problems and Prospects

    Emphasis on the uniqueness and validity of each personsexperience thats what most think of as personality

    Optimistic and positive view of human na