Biological and Humanistic Approaches to Personality

Biologicaland Humanistic Approaches to Personality


Personalityrefers to the difference that exists between individuals in terms oftheir thinking, feeling and their behavior patterns. In anotherperspective, it is the understanding of the difference between peoplein term of their behavior, cognition and emotional factors.Understanding of personality of individuals is important because ithelps in understanding factors that can influence a person behaviorand their perceptions of things. It is important because it enablespeople to understand and appreciate the different stand and choicesmade by people even though they belong to the same group. Personalitystudies are affected by the historical and cultural milestone that anindividual is brought up in their life. Terms of engagement with ourfellow people can be improved only if we have a better understandingof their personality since we can know the mood to apply. Personalityis also a factor that determines the ideology of an individual and tochange a certain perception on would require a broad understanding oftheir perception. Personality is a social science that is influencedby various biological factors, and a broad understanding of thesubject will help understand it better.

Analysisof the Subject

Maslowtheory of needs is a theory that tries to explain the perception andreception of different satisfaction to the needs by people. In hisanalysis, Maslow categorizes human into five distinct levels. Theprocess of satisfying those needs, according to Maslow isprogressive. What that reflects is that an individual has to fulfilland get the utility for one level of need before thinking about theother level of needs. The process goes on to the fifth level of needshave been satisfied. Needs are, however, ever-recurring and universaland it are that an individual finally reach the final level. Thechoice of these needs is affected by the personality of individuals.

Thefirst level of needs includes referred to as the psychological needs.These are the basic human needs. In his analysis, Maslow definesbasic needs to include food, clothing, shelter and sex. These are theneeds that are fundamental to human survival. Due to the change andmodern lifestyle, education also seems to be a basic human need. Thesecond level of needs is called security and safety needs. Theseneeds include both the physical security and can extend to includesuch aspect as job and income security. Satisfaction is reachedthrough writing job contracts and securing insurance policies. Thethird level of need is the love and belonging needs. These needs areabout the association with other and are mostly satisfied with thesocial ties forged. The fourth level includes the esteem needs thatrequire recognition through rewards, appreciation at the places of ajob, and respect. The final level of needs is calledself-actualization and involves the fulfillment of person lifeambitions. The needs at this level are only a desire to hold what anindividual have done in life and develop them to claim ownership andbecome proud of our achievements (Rakowski,2011).

Biologicalfactors have an influence on the personality of individuals. Geneticsprovides a means through which information can be passed from theparents to the offspring. The human brain determines all the actionsand the thinking of humans. Hence, it is a determinant of ourpersonality. Further, it is argued that our choice on the interactionwith others depend on our biological appearance. Some people may feelthey do not look presentable to negotiate and interact with otherpeople, and that determine their traits into adulthood. Others mayalso choose to interact with an individual due to their biologicalphysique and looks.

TheMaslow hierarchy of needs has a strong relationship with thebiological factor in explaining the personality traits. All the needsthat Maslow mentions in his theory including the basic human needs,security and social interaction are determined by biological factorsand characteristics. Those behaviors and people’s actions are as aresult of their internal and biological instincts. Some needs atdifferent levels including sex, food, sleep and other psychologicalneeds are biological in nature. The biological explanation ofpersonality and that of Maslow in his theory and cannot be separatedas is critical to emphasize the relationship to enhanceunderstanding.

Thereis a big distinction between the humanistic theories explanation onthe subject of personality from the biological account of the humanpersonality. One way is that the humanistic approach focuses oncurrent neglecting the future self-actualization and development.Also, it differs from biological approach since the humanistic theoryderive thought from feeling yet every human have their personal goaland worth they aim at fulfilling (Heffner&amp Heffner, 2009).


Personalitycan be explained from a different perspective. Maslow hierarchy ofneeds shapes the personality of individual through the various needshuman aim at achieving. The biological account of personality is alsoclosely related to the biological approach in explaining personality.Humanistic approaches depend on behavior to explain personality whilethe biological approaches explain it using the biologicalcharacteristics.


Heffner,D., &amp Heffner, D. (2009). Chapter3: Section 1: Biological Components of Personality | 21 July 2015, from

Rakowski,N. (2011). Maslow`shierarchy of needs model – the difference of the Chinese and theWestern pyramid on the example of purchasing luxurious products.München: GRIN Verlag GmbH.