William Schutz

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not to be confused with "Schulz" or "Schultz", see also William Schulz (disambiguation)

William Schutz (19 December 1925 in Chicago, Illinois [1] [2] - 9 November 2002 in Muir Beach, California) was an American psychologist.

Schutz practiced at the Esalen Institute in the 1960s. He later became the president of BConWSA International. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA. In the 1950s, he was part of the peer-group at the University of Chicago's Counseling Center that included Carl Rogers, Thomas Gordon, Abraham Maslow and Elias Porter. He taught at Tufts University, Harvard University, University of California, Berkeley and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and was chairman of the holistic studies department at Antioch University until 1983.

In 1958, Schutz introduced a theory of interpersonal relations he called Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation (FIRO). According to the theory three dimensions of interpersonal relations were deemed to be necessary and sufficient to explain most human interaction: Inclusion, Control and Affection. These dimensions have been used to assess group dynamics.

Schutz also created FIRO-B, a measurement instrument with scales that assess the behavioral aspects of the three dimensions. His advancement of FIRO Theory beyond the FIRO-B tool was most obvious in the change of the "Affection" scale to the "Openness" scale in the "FIRO Element-B". This change highlighted his newer theory that behavior comes from feelings ("FIRO Element-F") and the self-concept ("FIRO Element-S"). "Underlying the behavior of openness is the feeling of being likable or unlikeable, lovable or unlovable. I find you likable if I like myself in your presence, if you create an atmosphere within which I like myself."


  • FIRO: A Three-Dimensional Theory of Interpersonal Behavior. New York, NY: Rinehart (1958).
  • Joy. Expanding Human Awareness (1967).
  • Profound Simplicity. New York, NY: Bantam (1979).
  • The Truth Option. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press (1984).
  • Joy: Twenty Years Later. Berkeley, CA: Ten Speed Press (1989).
  • "Beyond FIRO-B—Three New Theory Derived Measures—Element B: Behavior, Element F: Feelings, Element S: Self." Psychological Reports, June, 70, 915-937 (1992).
  • The Human Element: Productivity, Self-Esteem and the Bottom Line. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass (1994).


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