Monday, October 19, 2015

Empirical Support for Carl Rogers' Person-Centered Theory of the "Fully Functioning Person"

Carl Rogers remains one of the most influential psychologists in the field, and continues to inspire not only humanistic psychologists, but psychological theory and practice across the entire field of psychology. Research evidence continues to support many of Rogers' key concepts.

In the latest study, researchers Carmel Proctor, Roger Tweed, and Daniel Morris (2015) studied the fully functioning person from a positive psychology perspective, drawing upon constructs commonly used to measure indicators of well-being. In their study, they used a variety of measurements to examine constructs such as life satisfaction, positive thoughts and feelings, authenticity, organismic valuing, aspirations, basic psychological needs, anxiety and the use of strengths. As expected, the found that one factor, dubbed the "fully functioning person" factor, was identified using variables akin to Rogers' theory of the fully functioning person.

The researchers looked at correlations between the fully functioning person, and various indicators of psychological well-being. The fully functioning person factor was positively related to life satisfaction and positive thoughts and feelings, while negatively related to negative thoughts and feelings, as well as anxiety. In addition, participants who ranked high on scores of fully functioning were more likely to endorse intrinsic, rather than extrinsic, values.

The researchers also examined correlations between the fully functioning person and various character strengths. They found that a fully functioning personality was positively related to virtues such as enthusiasm, bravery, honesty, leadership, and spirituality. However, the fully functioning personality was negatively related to modesty and fairness traits.

To read more, see: Proctor, C., Tweed, R., & Morris, D. (2015). The Rogerian fully functioning person: A positive psychology perspective. Journal of Humanistic Psychology.

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