Jason Hendrix's Archive

Third Force

0 Commentsby   |  04.23.13  |  Student Posts

Third Force Psychology has become very popular in recent years, not only because of client centered therapy, but also because of its clever infusion of humanistic ideals. While it can be and is viewed by many as a reaction to the seemingly negative picture of the self painted by Freud and Psychoanalysis, its views on creativity and human potential have opened up new areas for psychology to explore. One these areas is self-actualization. Theories of self actualization believe that humans have an innate, though “fragile” as Maslow would say, drive toward realizing ones full potential. This is generally described as reaching a higher state of understanding, often of the self and others, but also ones environments. I won’t go into the specific theories about how actualization occurs, but in my opinion a “self-actualized” person is pretty much the exact opposite of the half conscious animal drowning in its neurosis stereotyped by psychoanalysis. Another thing I noticed is that, while psychoanalysis seemed to accent some of man’s darker qualities, or at least view them in a dark way, humanistic psychology views everything as overly positive. It makes it more popular, but I think truth is somewhere in between. Another part of third force psychology that I find particularly interesting is Transpersonal psychology. It is a relatively unexplored area since Maslow, but I think it is a very interesting field and could have some important implications for the psychology of religion. I don’t know of any people who embody third force psych who aren’t psychologist, so I really don’t know what else to say… so Goodnight!


0 Commentsby   |  04.11.13  |  Student Posts

Psychoanalysis is one of my favorite branches of psychology. I agree with most of its critics, but the impact it had on psychology as a whole is unquestionable. Psychoanalysis has slowly crept into our lives over the last century and has had both positive and negative effects. The main way that I see psychoanalytic concepts at work today is in advertising. I watched a british documentary series called The Century of the Self that showed how many of Freud’s ideas came to shape modern advertising. An obvious way we can see this is through the sexualization of almost all advertising. You couldn’t possibly count how many commercials today rely on our primal urges, or the Id we’ll call it, to get awaken our desires. Another favorite tactic used is to play on ideas we have about ourselves and that we identify with. In America especially, this means marketing to our sense of individuality. I believe its Dr. Pepper who is running “Be You” and “Always One of a Kind” slogans right now. Just a perfect examples of marketing to an individualistic culture. This being my favorite area, I just think it’s a bit of a shame to see what the theories are being used for these days.


4 Commentsby   |  04.02.13  |  Student Posts

Behaviorist Techniques were being employed long before Skinner presented his full theory. We can see examples of conditioning employed everywhere in our advertising, and they have been useful in child rearing for millennia. Advertisers and marketers have put countless hours into understanding ways of influencing (and manipulating) our behaviors, but I guess thats another conversation. When it comes to behaviorism, we can all think of times in our past when classic or operant conditioning was used on us to encourage certain behaviors and discourage others. However, for me the main draw in behaviorism is the idea of perhaps using conditioning on ourselves to take more control of our own behavior. I suppose some goals of this would be to become less impulsive, more productive, or manage time better. These are just a few examples, and there needs to be more study into how possible it is to truly condition ones self, but if there is a way to use behaviorist techniques to take exact control of our own behavior, it could be incredibly beneficial.

Blog 3

1 Commentby   |  03.04.13  |  Student Posts

Evolutionary theory has had a drastic effect on the discipline of psychology. Evolutionary psychology has arisen as its own field, and ushered in a new era of psychology based upon the new understanding of our origins. This new drive in psychology aims to provide explanations for human actions and behaviors within the context of our evolutionary past. Many of the findings of evolutionary psychology have been provocative in presenting alternative views of human nature, especially those that stand in opposition to those postulated by religion, and it has also revealed a great deal about how we operate on a subconscious instinctual level to propagate our genes. While evolutionary psych has told us much about ourselves, there are still many questions to be asked, and several obstacles to overcome. One aspect of evolutionary psychology that provides a problem to many is its tendency to be very reductionistic. I remember Dr. McAnulty saying in class that we shouldn’t reduce ourselves and, while I agree, I also believe that reducing ourselves is perhaps an essential facet of evolutionary psychology, if not one of its goals. If it is not the goal, I still wonder if it is an inevitable consequence of a materialist-evolutionary mindset. We are bound to eventually reduce ourselves to semiconscious animals composed of mere atoms with not much control over our existence. Further, I don’t think evolutionary theory is much in concordance with free will. This leaves us a lot of ideas, like free will, and thoughts that may or may not serve much of a purpose, evolutionarily speaking. I think that the most important thing is that we don’t discard our subjective mental experiences in the wake of evolutionary theories that may provide valid explanations of human nature, as I believe it is the original goal of psychology to understand and study those subjective mental phenomenon. I don’t want new discoveries in any science to detract from that goal since I feel it can help us better understand one another and live in peace. Sorry for the sounding like Miss America at the end.

Blog 1: The Good Life

1 Commentby   |  01.20.13  |  Student Posts

The idea of “the good life” has been tormenting me for at least the last three years. Now, we all go to a Christian university, but there are a wide variety of beliefs here, and even amongst people of the same denomination who subscribe to the same religious dogma there will be different definition of what “the good life” really means. This seemingly lofty and idealistic question actually carries a lot of weight and has very important practical implications to our daily living. I have spent many moons brooding in my armchair on how I can live a good life, one that I am proud of and that was worth living. I know many others have drawn this conclusion as well, but I don’t think that there exists such a thing as “The good life.” No single, universal definition will suffice. Rather, I think that it is possible to live “A good life,” which will look different for each person.

I have to agree with Socrates when he says, “the unexamined life is not worth living.” If a man (or woman) goes through their life and never asks questions, acting solely on impulse, then they have missed the whole point and deprived themselves from living a life that has deeper meaning. Some might say that this is idealistic, maybe even unrealistic, but I say that our ability to ask questions is the one thing that separates us from all other animals. I think that it’s not just our right, but our responsibility to ask the hard questions, because it’s up to us to help understand this life and make this world a better place.

My beliefs aside, my idea of the good life has also been profoundly impacted by the life of Jesus. A huge way we interact with the world around us is through our relationships, and I think that Jesus’ example of unconditional love is the best template for how we should treat others, and how we can live a life that will bring happiness to ourselves and those around us.

Finally, I think that a good life is one in which we are free to be individuals. Like I said, there are billions of definitions of the good life. If we are all stuck here trying to live out our idea to the best of our abilities, we must be able to do as we see fit and, within reason, be tolerant of others trying to do the same.

I believe one lives a good life and a meaningful life through loving others, self-understanding, and doing something that they feel betters the world in which we all live.

Jason Hendrix's Comment Archive

  1. Jason Hendrix on Third Force Psych
    1:02 am, 04.24.13

    I completely agree that individuality and creativity are too often limited by societal or cultural standards. I really do believe that we all have something to offer, whether its the way we sing, paint, write, or love, and I believe the humanist attempt to emphasize these gifts will lead us down the right path. Thanks for the post.

  2. Jason Hendrix on Blog #6
    12:52 am, 04.24.13

    Definitely Agree. With all these contradicting theories, there’s no way to decide which ones right and everything just becomes confusing. I also think that humanistic psychology has done a great job building on the works of others and blending ideas from multiple traditions, even those not part of the third force tradition. Free will is always a tough one for me, but I appreciate third force for being willing to take the stand. Thanks for the post

  3. Jason Hendrix on
    10:24 pm, 04.12.13

    Very true. Everyone thinks they’re a psychoanalyst these days (myself included). I definitely agree that Freud and psychoanalysis have changed the way we think about each other and ourselves. It’s kind of funny how now we’re always looking for underlying forces or ulterior motives in other people though. Thanks for the post

  4. Jason Hendrix on Psychoanalytic Theory
    10:18 pm, 04.12.13

    I hadn’t noticed the “Howdy” yet, but now its annoying me too. I’ve been repressing my “inner Texan” for a long time now, but I’m hoping that after years of intense therapy (psychoanalysis of course) I’ll finally be able to be at peace with it. Hopefully I can take a look at some of your reading list as well, thanks for the post

  5. Jason Hendrix on Blog 4: Behaviorism
    11:59 pm, 04.03.13

    The worst is that sometimes we even realize it and we still “keep pecking.” Gambling is a great example of this. Its crazy how they can keep us coming back so consistently. They’re so good at it these days, they have learned to capitalize on the things we identify with most.

  6. Definitely Agree. The medias uses our insecurities against us, and they rely very heavily on things such as gender roles. Thanks for the post

  7. I agree that not following our inner compass can be very hard on a person. An important aspect of the good life is understanding and being true to ourselves. I also agree that the example of self-sacrifice found in christianity is a profound example for how life should be lived. Thanks for the post.

  8. Jason Hendrix on The Good Life
    1:22 am, 01.22.13

    Hope some others read this. I definitely identify with the the idea that we are destined to be forever searching. There really is no way to have the perfect “good life” with everything you want because there is no end to human desire. We will always want more. I also like that you pointed out that the good and bad only have meaning with relation to each other. Great post. Thanks