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The perspective of humanistic psychology has been summed up in five ‘postulates’:

1. Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.

2. Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.

3. Human beings are aware and aware of being aware – i.e., they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.

4. Human beings have some choice and, with that, responsibility.

5. Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value and creativity.

Adapted by Tom Greening from J F T Bugental’s “The Third Force in Psychology” (Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 1964, Vol.4, No.1, pp.19-25).

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