Behavioral Perspective vs Humanistic Perspective

Last Updated on December 6, 2021 by QCity Editorial Stuff

The behavioral and humanistic perspectives differ in their view of how humans interact with the world. The humanistic perspective sees people as innately good and only acting negatively due to circumstances, while the behavioral perspective sees humans as inherently bad and must be controlled by society through punishment or rewards. 

The difference between these two perspectives is significant because each one has different implications on how we should treat criminals. For example, if you subscribe to the humanistic perspective then you would want to rehabilitate criminals so that they don’t commit crimes again, but if you believe in the behavioral perspective then prisoners must be punished harshly so they won’t re-offend when released from jail.

The concept of perspective is an important one, as it helps us to understand things from different angles. The behavioral perspective and the humanistic perspective are two perspectives that help people to better understand how humans behave. 

The behavioral perspective looks at behavior in terms of observable actions and responses, without taking into account the thoughts or feelings that might motivate those behaviors. This type of approach emphasizes external factors for understanding behavior rather than internal ones. Humanistic psychology takes a more holistic view by looking at both internal motivations and external environmental influences on human behavior. It also focuses on self-actualization, which is the process by which individuals seek to become their best possible selves through personal growth and development. 

Comparison between the Behavioral Perspective and Humanistic Perspective

Parameters of ComparisonBehavioral PerspectiveHumanistic Perspective
Focusbehavioral perspective is focused on the observable actions of people and how they are shaped by their environmentThe humanistic perspective focuses on the person’s thoughts, feelings, and desires to understand why they do what they do
BelievesBehaviorism believes that a person’s behavior can be explained by environmental factorsHumanism believes that a person’s behavior can be explained by both environmental factors and internal factors 
TraitsBehaviorists believe that an individual is born with certain traits which cannot be changedhumanists believe in free will and personal responsibility for one’s actions 
RewardsBehaviorists typically use rewards or punishments to shape someone’s behaviorshumanistic therapists focus more on understanding the client’s needs to help them change their behaviors 
EnvironmentBehaviorists believe that we should change our environment so it can help us improve ourselveshumanistic believe we should change ourselves so it will help our environment

What is Behavioral Perspective?

As a business owner, you have likely considered the many ways to increase your customer base. One way that may not be on top of your list is to employ behavioral perspective strategies. These are techniques that take into account how consumers think and act when making decisions about their purchases. Behavioral approaches can result in increased sales by targeting consumer desires for products or services based on psychographic data collected from online surveys, social media research, focus groups, and more. This blog post will explore the basics of this theory as well as provide tips for applying it to your business strategy. Interested? Read on.

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What is a Humanistic Perspective?

A humanistic perspective is an approach to psychology that focuses on the whole person, their strengths, and potential. It emphasizes personal growth, self-determination, and human agency. The goal of this perspective is to help people find meaning in life by exploring their thoughts and behaviors. 

The humanistic Perspective considers the person as a continuous learner with inherent worth who can develop themselves throughout their lifetime. This perspective also takes into account how society shapes individuals’ actions because it does not believe that humans are inherently good or bad but rather they have both qualities within them. Humanism believes in democracy and equality for all through individual responsibility without relying too heavily on social institutions such as religion or government. 

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10 Differences Between the Behavioral Perspective and Humanistic Perspective

1. The behavioral perspective focuses on the individual’s behaviors and actions while the humanistic perspective focuses on how people think, feel, and behave.

2. The behavioral perspective is based on science whereas the humanistic perspective is more focused on a person’s subjective thoughts.

3. In the behavioral approach, a psychologist would focus on what an individual does or says to understand them better while in the humanistic approach they may not be concerned with what someone does but instead focus more on their feelings. 

4. In terms of therapy methods, behaviorists use treatments that are structured and systematic whereas therapists who practice from a humanistic view may use an unstructured treatment method.

5. Behaviorists believe that we should change our environment so it can help us improve ourselves while humanistic believe we should change ourselves so it will help our environment. 

6. Behaviorism is all about external factors such as rewards and punishments whereas psychology from a humanistic viewpoint looks at internal factors such as self-esteem and self-actualization.

7. The behavioral perspective focuses on observable behavior and the humanistic perspective focuses on how we feel about our behaviors.

8. The behavioral perspective views people as rational beings while the humanistic perspective views people as emotional beings. 

9. The behavioral perspective is more focused on predicting and controlling behavior while the humanistic approach is more focused on understanding and acceptable behavior. 

10. Behaviorists view culture in terms of what it does to humans, whereas a humanist would view it in terms of what humans do with culture. 

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Behavioral Perspective

1. More than a quarter of people who have a pet at home say they talk to their pets.

2. The average person spends about one-third of their time on social media.

3. A fifth of all adults say that they’ve been in an argument with someone over politics.

4. About 2% of the population is vegetarian, vegan, or fruitarian.

5. One out of every five people has gotten into a physical fight with another person because they disagreed about sports teams.

6. Nearly half (45%) of all adults report feeling lonely from time to time and more than one-third (37%) feel this way often or very often.

Interesting Statistics or Facts of Humanistic Perspective

1. Humans are the only species that can’t see their backs.

2. The human brain is estimated to process around 125 million pieces of information every second.

3. There’s a small part of your brain called the “monkey” which controls how you act impulsively.

4. You blink an average of 7 times per minute and take about 20,000 breaths in one day.

5. If you were born without hair, it would grow back within 6 months.

6. Your heart beats 100,000 times in one day and 2 million times in your lifetime.


There are many differences between the behavioral perspective and the humanistic perspective. One of the key differences is that while both perspectives acknowledge the importance of behavior, one focuses on external behaviors while the other concentrates on internal experiences. The two also differ in their views about what motivates people to act according to society’s expectations or norms; for example, an individual may be motivated by either rewards (behavioral) or empathy (humanistic). All things considered, it seems like neither viewpoint can offer a complete explanation for how humans behave. Perhaps they work together? But more research should be done before we know for sure.


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