Will Schutz and the Human Potential MovementFeb 28, 2023
How I feel about and behave toward myself is the basic determinant of most of my behavior. If I improve my self-regard, I will find that dozens of behaviors change automatically. If, for example, I increase my feelings of self-competence, I will probably be less defensive, less angered by criticism, less devastated if I do not get a raise, less anxious when I come to work, better able to make decisions, and more able to appreciate and praise other people.
-- William Schutz
Will Schutz was a psychologist and influential thinker in what came to be known as the human potential movement. He wrote a best-selling book, "Here Comes Everyone", which described his theories about how humans interact and how we can realize our potential. In this article, we'll take a look at Schutz's life, his work, and his lasting impact on psychology.
Childhood and Education
Will Schutz was born in Cleveland, Ohio in 1925. His father was a doctor and his mother was a homemaker. From a young age, Schutz was interested in understanding how people worked. He would often play games where he would try to get people to do what he wanted them to do without them realizing it. This fascination with human behavior continued into his adulthood.
Schutz attended Harvard University, where he studied psychology. It was during his time at Harvard that he became interested in the psychological concept of "flow state" or "the zone." This is the idea that humans are happiest and most productive when they are completely focused on the task at hand and not thinking about anything else. This concept would later become central to Schutz's work.
After graduating from Harvard, Schutz joined the U.S. Navy and served as a Psychologist during World War II. He later returned to Harvard to complete his PhD in Psychology.
Here Comes Everyone
In 1966, Schutz published his most famous work, "Here Comes Everyone." The book describes Schutz's theories about human interaction and potential. Central to the book is the idea of a "flow state" or being "in the zone." According to Schutz, humans are happiest and most productive when they are completely focused on the task at hand and not thinking about anything else. This concept was radical at the time and went against traditional ideas about psychology, which focused on Freudian ideas of repression and conflict resolution.
The book was an instant best-seller and cemented Schutz's place as one of the leading figures in psychology. His theories about human potential inspired many people to think differently about themselves and their ability to achieve their goals.
Contributions to Psychology
In addition to writing "Here Comes Everyone", Schutz also developed several assessment tools that are still used by psychologists today. One of these tools is the FIRO-B assessment measure, which is used to assess how people feel within a group setting. The FIRO-B measure speaks to different ways in which people can feel within a group, e.g., included or not included, competent or not competent, or loved or not loved. This tool helps psychologists understand how people interact in groups and why some people feel more comfortable in certain types of groups than others.
Will Schutz was a psychologist who made important contributions to the field of psychology. He is best known for his work on flow state theory and for his best-selling book, "Here Comes Everyone". His work has inspired many people to think differently about themselves and their ability to achieve their goals. If you're interested in learning more about psychology, we recommend checking out some of Will Schutz's work.
Photo credit: Gr Stocks @ Unsplash
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