Humanistic theories reject both the psychoanalytic and he behaviouristic conceptions of human nature as too mechanistic, portraying people as creatures helplessly buffeted about by internal instincts or external stimuli. They are less concerned with motivational constructs as explanations of behaviour with the individual’s perception of himself, immediate experiences and his personal view of the world.

Humanistic theories stress positive nature-push toward growth and self-actualization. Their emphasis is also on the “here and now” rather than on events in early childhood that may have shaped the individual’s personality.