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Five Psychologists

In: Business and Management

Submitted By trishal
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Best known for his “Theory of Multiple Intelligence”, Howard Gardner believes that each individual has his/her own way learning and processing information, relatively independent of one another. This leads us to the fact that each of us have our own unique intelligence quite contrary to the general intelligence factor among correlated abilities. These relatively independent information processing capacities is what we call the “multiple intelligences.” He has already identified eight intelligences: linguistic, logic-mathematical, musical, spatial, bodily/kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalistic. To add to this he is still considering a ninth: existential intelligence- the posing and pondering of the so-called “big questions” in life, but has not added it yet.
A German-born Jewish Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Fritz Perls was the proponent of the “Gestalt Therapy”- a form of psychotherapy he developed with his wife. Though related but not identical to the Gestalt psychology, the essence of Gestalt Therapy lies in enhanced awareness of sensation, perceptions, bodily feelings, emotion and behaviour in the present moment. It seems like an electric shock making you more aware and alert. Emphasis has also been laid on relationships coupled with the contact between the self, its environment, and the other.
Also known as the Father of Positive Psychology, Martin Seligman worked to create a ‘positive’ theory which focussed on “What can go right?” Looking across cultures and millennia, he managed to chalk out a list that has been highly valued from ancient China and India, through Greece and Rome to contemporary western cultures. The list includes six character strengths: wisdom, courage, humanity, justice, temperance and transcendence. A key point to note here is that he does not believe in a hierarchy for these six virtues: no one is more fundamental to the other. He was a strong proponent to look into well-being as well as financial wealth in ways of assessing the prosperity of a nation.
The founder of logotherapy: a form of existential analysis, Victor Frankl, through his bitter experiences at concentration camps during the Holocaust, discovered the importance of finding meaning in all forms of existence, even the most sordid ones and thus, a reason to continue living. A prominent source of inspiration for humanistic psychologists, Frankl came to the conclusion that even in the most absurd, painful, and dehumanized situation, life has potential meaning and therefore even suffering is meaningful. His most famous quote-“"What is to give light must endure burning" sums up his opinion about life and urges one to come out of one’s melancholy and “give light” to one’s surroundings.
Widely regarded as one of the most important psychoanalysts of the 20th century, Erich Fromm was critical of many of Freud’s ideas including the Oedipus complex, and believed that society and culture also played a significant role in individual human development. He believed life was a contradiction since humans were both part of nature and separate from it . From this conflict arise basic existential needs including relatedness, creativity, rootedness, identity and a frame of orientation. He wanted to understand the laws that govern the life of an individual and the laws of the society, of men in their social existence. He strongly believed in forgetting the baggage the past weighed upon an individual and move ahead and realise one’s true potential and worth

Through his creative work, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi states the theory that people are happiest when they are in a state of flow- a state of concentration or complete absorption with the activity at hand and the situation therein. They are so engrossed that nothing else seems to matter. It is identical to the feeling of being in the zone or in the groove, an optimal state of intrinsic motivation where the person is fully immersed in what they are doing. Drawing a similarity with Mihaly’s this theory, I could relate my experience in a particular project at my workplace. Being a part of the R&D unit of a Maharatna company- Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd., research projects if successful and the technology transferred to the manufacturing units thereon could bring rich dividends for the company and for my personal growth.
The research work on a high capacity insulating material got me so glued to the work that I spent two months in total isolation, working well beyond office hours and often through the night. The exact formulation of the material combining various ingredients, developing a prototype and testing the same for its mechanical and electrical properties kept me totally engrossed in the work and created a strong urge within me to come out with an impressive product. Though the work carried out fell in my field of interest, it also kept me telling that I was really close to the outcome: a step away. The engrossing hours coupled with the social disconnect did not go down the drain rather I came out with flying colours and successfully developed the material and even filed a national patent for the same. The sense of satisfaction and contentment was no match to the high appreciation I received from my seniors and subordinates. Though the ride was not smooth at all instances, the belief that a little effort will get me through kept the candle of hope burning within me and it paid off eventually. It was a feeling of great absorption, engagement, fulfillment, and skill—and during which temporal concerns (time, food, ego-self, etc.) are typically ignored.
Mihaly describes flow as “being completely involved in an activity for its own sake.” This is when time flies, ego falls and every action, movement and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost. The feeling was very much the same and gradually I’ve realised that most of my activities which I assign high priority, I do with a similar dedication and engrossment. Csikszentmihalyi characterized nine component states of achieving flow including “challenge-skill balance, merging of action and awareness, immediate and unambiguous feedback, concentration on the task at hand, paradox of control, transformation of time, loss of self-consciousness, and autotelic experience.
The autotelic personality is one in which a person performs acts because they are intrinsically rewarding, rather than to achieve external goals. Mihaly describes the autotelic personality as a trait possessed by individuals who can learn to enjoy situations that most other people would find miserable. It is always for that inner satisfaction and peace that I strive for and is very well pointed out by Mihaly. To achieve a flow state, a balance must be struck between the challenge of the task and the skill of the performer. If the task is too easy or too difficult, flow cannot occur. Both skill level and challenge level must be matched and high; if skill and challenge are low and matched, then apathy results. Hence, I could come to the conclusion that it was those challenging tasks which appealed to my senses and especially my acquired skill that caught my concentration and kept me tied to the same till I found a way out of it. The redemption my inner self needs.…...

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