A Study on the Theory of Self Concept by Carl Ransom Rogers

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Carl Ransom Rogers is one of the most influential American psychologists amongst the pioneers of humanistic perspective to psychology. He was a humanistic thinker and had a belief that individuals are basically good. He also has a belief that individuals have an actualizing likelihood, or desire to accomplish their abilities to make them the best amongst others.

Self Actualization

In his speech, Rogers, 1951, p.487, he said that the organism has one fundamental likelihood and striving-to actualize, maintain, and improve the experiencing organism. He disputed the deterministic nature of both psychoanalysis and behaviorism and maintained that we conduct ourselves as we do due to the perception of our scenarios (McLeod, S. A. 2014). For instance, a flower grows to its full potential only if there are appropriate environmental conditions. Therefore people will only flourish and fulfill their potential if the environmental conditions are good enough. The potential of a person is unique and we are meant to undergo development in various ways in accordance with our personality.

According to McLeod, S. A. 2014, individuals are inherently good as well as creative and only become disparaging when a poor self-concept or external impediments surpass the valuation process. That is to say, self-actualization takes place when the ideal-self (who they would like to become) concurs with their self-image (absolute behavior). Rogers gives a description of a person undergoing actualization as a fully functioning being bearing various characteristics; open to experience, existential living, trust feelings, fulfilled life and creativity. According to Rogers, a fully functioning person is well adjusted, well balanced, and fascinating to get acquainted to (McLeod, S. A. 2014).


Self-concept refers to the organized, consisted set of perception and belief concerning oneself. The experiences an individual undergoes in his/her life as well as interpretations of those experiences influence the self. Childhood experiences and examination by other people are the main sources influencing our self-concept (McLeod, S. A. 2014). People would to feel experience and conduct themselves in ways which are in concurrence with our self-image and ideal-self. There three elements of self-concepts; self-worth/self-esteem, the thinking about ourselves; self- image, the way we see ourselves; and the ideal-self, the person we would like to become.

Unconditional positive regard

This reference to the situation where parents, humanistic therapists welcome and adore people for what they are. The positive regard is not removed if an individual has done something that is not right or has made a mistake. The impacts of unconditional positive regard are that the individual has freedom of making attempts and make mistakes, even though this is likely to result to worse situations sometimes (McLeod, S. A. 2014). Individuals who have the potential to self-actualize have higher chances of receiving unconditional positive regard from other people, specifically their parents in childhood.


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