Autonomy: A Personality Trait Essay

1863 words - 8 pages

The notion of personal autonomy is a characteristic that many individuals seek to find throughout their life. The term autonomy originates from the Greek words auto (self) and nomos (law) and means self-management (Senturan, Kose, Sabuncu, & Ozhan, 2012). Individuals who experience the characteristic of autonomy during their lives will often have an intense desire for their personal freedom and will set moderate goals for themselves that will enhance their well-being and independence. Radel, Sarrazin, Pelletier, and Milyavskaya (2011) describe autonomy as being a basic psychological need that has the potential to represent an individual’s propensity towards a slate of self-governance as defined by their behavioral aims. An autonomous attitude is seen as having the ability to resist influence or coercion, to defy an authority or seek freedom in a new place, or to strive for independence (Sahakian, 1965).
Individuals who have high levels of autonomy might pursue goals or activities in which they must complete them individually and control their own environment. These goals and activities can range from individual sports like running track and gymnastics to professional careers that involve major work done by oneself, such as careers in health and medicine. Persons who are employed in medical careers, like nursing, must display autonomous behavior because it provides motivation for them to make decisions without requiring permission from somebody (Senturan et al., 2012). On the other hand, those who display low levels of autonomous behavior will often become submissive towards others and may show signs of obedience when it comes to decision making and protecting their personal independence. These people may be coerced into performing actions or behaviors that they would not normally do such as a person who is an accomplice to a criminal act. I display high levels of autonomous behavior due to the fact that I usually set goals for myself that require no help from others and after these goals are complete, my sense of well-being has increased tremendously.
Theoretical Perspective
Humanistic Perspective
The humanistic approach to psychology is an organization of different thoughts in which the interests of humans and their values and/or beliefs are of main importance (Schultz & Schultz, 2009). The term humanistic relays the notion that all human beings have the potential for growth and that no one is purposely bad or unworthy (Carver & Scheier, 2012). In contrast to psychoanalytical psychologists, humanistic psychologists tend to focus on the strengths of human behavior and not the aspects that make an individual’s behavior seem negative. The theories of Maslow and Rogers both place a great deal of emphasis on the aspirations of humans and whether they have the ability to fulfill these aspirations.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Motives
Maslow’s theory of personality development is presented in the form of a chart, better known as the Hierarchy of...

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