What Were the Humanistic Theorists Criticized For?

Critics of the humanistic perspective in psychology point to its subjectivity and ideological basis when they question theories constructed under this approach. The humanistic perspective focuses on healthy and functioning individuals and how they behave. However, when it comes to subversive behavior or divergent mental conditions, the humanistic approach offers very little in the way of explanation. Critics believe humanistic theories tend to lack solid empirical evidence.

Humanistic theories in psychology operate on the premise that people are basically good and enjoy feeling useful. The only issue with this is that happiness varies from person to person and does not always directly correlate to a person's usefulness. Critics also like to point to the fact that the foundations of the humanistic perspective show slight cultural bias. Although some believe the humanistic approach does have validity, it uses vague terms when it applies to individuals.

Because the five beliefs that comprise the humanistic approach praise the human condition, critics call it naïve. These critics concede that the humanistic approach has its place in observing a short period of time, but they believe it lacks a value in the long run. The humanistic perspective is great for explaining healthy development but is not so helpful for problem solving.