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Abraham Maslow

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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He continued his research at Columbia University on similar themes. There he found another mentor in Alfred Adler , one of Sigmund Freud 's early colleagues. From to , Maslow was on the faculty of Brooklyn College.

His family life and his experiences influenced his psychological ideas. After World War II , Maslow began to question the way psychologists had come to their conclusions, and although he did not completely disagree, he had his own ideas on how to understand the human mind. He was thus ineligible for the military.

However, the horrors of war inspired a vision of peace in him leading to his groundbreaking psychological studies of self-actualizing. The studies began under the supervision of two mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer , whom he admired both professionally and personally.

They accomplished a lot in both realms. Being such "wonderful human beings" as well, they inspired Maslow to take notes about them and their behavior.

This would be the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. Maslow was a professor at Brandeis University from to He became a resident fellow of the Laughlin Institute in California.

In , Maslow had a serious heart attack and knew his time was limited. He considered himself to be a psychological pioneer. He gave future psychologists a push by bringing to light different paths to ponder.

Maslow believed that leadership should be non-intervening. Consistent with this approach, he rejected a nomination in to be the president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology because he felt that the organization should develop an intellectual movement without a leader.

While jogging, Maslow suffered a severe heart attack and died on June 8, , at the age of 62 in Menlo Park, California. Later in life, Maslow was concerned with questions such as, "Why don't more people self-actualize if their basic needs are met? How can we humanistically understand the problem of evil? Maslow attended the Association for Humanistic Psychology's founding meeting in where he declined nomination as its president, arguing that the new organization should develop an intellectual movement without a leader which resulted in useful strategy during the field's early years.

Humanistic psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize their full potential, to reach a level of " self-actualization ". The main point of that new movement, that reached its peak in s, was to emphasize the positive potential of human beings. It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half. However, Maslow was highly critical of Freud, since humanistic psychologists did not recognize spirituality as a navigation for our behaviours.

To prove that humans are not blindly reacting to situations, but trying to accomplish something greater, Maslow studied mentally healthy individuals instead of people with serious psychological issues.

He focused on self-actualizing people. Self-actualizing people indicate a coherent personality syndrome and represent optimal psychological health and functioning. This informed his theory that a person enjoys " peak experiences ", high points in life when the individual is in harmony with himself and his surroundings. In Maslow's view, self-actualized people can have many peak experiences throughout a day while others have those experiences less frequently.

He realized that all the individuals he studied had similar personality traits. All were "reality centered," able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also "problem centered," meaning that they treated life's difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships.

They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships. Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.

Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people. These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on "potentialities and inner resources". Maslow based his theory partially on his own assumptions about human potential and partially on his case studies of historical figures whom he believed to be self-actualized, including Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.

Together, these define the human experience. To the extent a person finds cooperative social fulfillment, he establishes meaningful relationships with other people and the larger world.

In other words, he establishes meaningful connections to an external reality—an essential component of self-actualization. In contrast, to the extent that vital needs find selfish and competitive fulfillment, a person acquires hostile emotions and limited external relationships—his awareness remains internal and limited. Maslow based his study on the writings of other psychologists, Albert Einstein and people he knew who [he felt] clearly met the standard of self-actualization. Maslow used Einstein's writings and accomplishments to exemplify the characteristics of the self-actualized person.

In this case, from a scientific perspective there are numerous problems with this particular approach. First, it could be argued that biographical analysis as a method is extremely subjective as it is based entirely on the opinion of the researcher. Personal opinion is always prone to bias, which reduces the validity of any data obtained.

Therefore, Maslow's operational definition of Self-actualization must not be blindly accepted as scientific fact. Maslow described human needs as ordered in a prepotent hierarchy—a pressing need would need to be mostly satisfied before someone would give their attention to the next highest need.

None of his published works included a visual representation of the hierarchy. The pyramidal diagram illustrating the Maslow needs hierarchy may have been created by a psychology textbook publisher as an illustrative device.

This now iconic pyramid frequently depicts the spectrum of human needs, both physical and psychological, as accompaniment to articles describing Maslow's needs theory and may give the impression that the Hierarchy of Needs is a fixed and rigid sequence of progression.

Yet, starting with the first publication of his theory in , Maslow described human needs as being relatively fluid—with many needs being present in a person simultaneously. The hierarchy of human needs model suggests that human needs will only be fulfilled one level at a time. According to Maslow's theory, when a human being ascends the levels of the hierarchy having fulfilled the needs in the hierarchy, one may eventually achieve self-actualization.

Late in life, Maslow came to conclude that self-actualization was not an automatic outcome of satisfying the other human needs [43] [44].

The first four levels are known as Deficit needs or D-needs. This means that if you do not have enough of one of those four needs, you will have the feeling that you need to get it. But when you do get them, then you feel content. These needs alone are not motivating. Maslow wrote that there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the basic needs to be satisfied.

For example, freedom of speech, freedom to express oneself, and freedom to seek new information [47] are a few of the prerequisites. Any blockages of these freedoms could prevent the satisfaction of the basic needs. Maslow's Hierarchy is used in higher education for advising students and student retention [48] as well as a key concept in student development.

Maslow defined self-actualization as achieving the fullest use of one's talents and interests—the need "to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Maslow envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as Peak experiences , which are profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so on. Self-actualizing people have many such peak experiences. In other words, these "peak experiences" or states of flow are the reflections of the realization of one's human potential and represent the height of personality development.

Maslow used the term metamotivation to describe self-actualized people who are driven by innate forces beyond their basic needs, so that they may explore and reach their full human potential. Before a student's cognitive needs can be met, they must first fulfill their basic physiological needs.

For example, a tired and hungry student will find it difficult to focus on learning. Students need to feel emotionally and physically safe and accepted within the classroom to progress and reach their full potential. Maslow suggests students must be shown that they are valued and respected in the classroom, and the teacher should create a supportive environment.

Students with a low self-esteem will not progress academically at an optimum rate until their self-esteem is strengthened. The most significant limitation of Maslow's theory concerns his methodology. Maslow formulated the characteristics of self-actualized individuals from undertaking a qualitative method called biographical analysis. He looked at the biographies and writings of 18 people he identified as being self-actualized.

From these sources, he developed a list of qualities that seemed characteristic of this specific group of people, as opposed to humanity in general. From a scientific perspective , there are numerous problems with this particular approach. First, it could be argued that biographical analysis as a method is extremely subjective as it is based entirely on the opinion of the researcher. Personal opinion is always prone to bias, which reduces the validity of any data obtained. Therefore Maslow's operational definition of self-actualization must not be blindly accepted as scientific fact.

Furthermore, Maslow's biographical analysis focused on a biased sample of self-actualized individuals, prominently limited to highly educated white males such as Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, William James, Aldous Huxley, Beethoven.

Although Maslow did study self-actualized females, such as Eleanor Roosevelt and Mother Teresa, they comprised a small proportion of his sample. This makes it difficult to generalize his theory to females and individuals from lower social classes or different ethnicity. Thus questioning the population validity of Maslow's findings. Furthermore, it is extremely difficult to empirically test Maslow's concept of self-actualization in a way that causal relationships can be established. Another criticism concerns Maslow's assumption that the lower needs must be satisfied before a person can achieve their potential and self-actualize.

This is not always the case, and therefore Maslow's hierarchy of needs in some aspects has been falsified. Through examining cultures in which large numbers of people live in poverty such as India , it is clear that people are still capable of higher order needs such as love and belongingness.

However, this should not occur, as according to Maslow, people who have difficulty achieving very basic physiological needs such as food, shelter, etc. Also, many creative people, such as authors and artists e. Psychologists now conceptualize motivation as a pluralistic behavior, whereby needs can operate on many levels simultaneously.

A person may be motivated by higher growth needs at the same time as lower level deficiency needs. The survey was conducted from to Respondents answered questions about six needs that closely resemble those in Maslow's model: They also rated their well-being across three discrete measures: The results of the study support the view that universal human needs appear to exist regardless of cultural differences.

However, the ordering of the needs within the hierarchy was not correct. The right to be human: A biography of Abraham Maslow.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 19 1 , A Theory of Human Motivation. Psychological Review, 50 4 , Religions, values, and peak experiences. Original work published Motivation and personality 3rd ed. Needs and subjective well-being around the world. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 2 , Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences. I felt if I could discover a way to improve the sexual life by even one percent, then I could improve the whole species.

One day, it suddenly dawned on me that I knew as much about sex as any man living--in the intellectual sense. I knew everything that had been written; I had made discoveries with which I was pleased; I had done therapeutic work.

This was about 10 years before the Kinsey report came out. Then I suddenly burst into laughter. Here was I, the great sexologist, and I had never seen an erect penis except one, and that was from my own bird's-eye view.

That humbled me considerably. No, something was wrong with Kinsey. I really don't think he liked women, or men. In my research, I interviewed women with a new form of interview. We just talked until I got some feeling for the individual's personality, then put sex against that background. Sex has to be considered in regard to love, otherwise it's useless. This is because behavior can be a defense--a way of hiding what you feel--particularly regarding sex.

I was fascinated with my research. But I gave up interviewing men. They were useless because they boasted and lied about sex. I also planned a big research project involving prostitutes. I thought we could learn a lot about men from them, but the research never came off. Yes, around I felt I must try to save the world, and to prevent the horrible wars and the awful hatred and prejudice.

It happened very suddenly. One day just after Pearl Harbor, I was driving home and my car was stopped by a poor, pathetic parade. Boy Scouts and old uniforms and a flag and someone playing a flute off-key. As I watched, the tears began to run down my face. I felt we didn't understand--not Hitler, nor the Germans, nor Stalin, nor the Communists. We didn't understand any of them. I felt that if we could understand, then we could make progress. I had a vision of a peace table, with people sitting around it, talking about human nature and hatred, war and peace, and brotherhood.

I was too old to go into the army. It was at that moment I realized that the rest of my life must be devoted to discovering a psychology for the peace table. That moment changed my whole life. Since then, I've devoted myself to developing a theory of human nature that could be tested by experiment and research.

I wanted to prove that humans are capable of something grander than war, prejudice, and hatred. I wanted to make science consider all the people: I found that many of them reported having something like mystical experiences. Your work with "self-actualizing" people is famous.

You have described some of these mystical experiences. Peak experiences come from love and sex, from aesthetic moments, from bursts of creativity, from moments of insight and discovery, or from fusion with nature. I had one such experience in a faculty procession here at Brandeis University. I saw the line stretching off into a dim future. At its head was Socrates. And in the line were the ones I love most. Thomas Jefferson was there. And Alfred North Whitehead.

I was in the same line. Behind me, that infinite line melted into the dimness. And there were all the people not y, fit born who were going to be in the same line. But not all people who are metamotivated report peak experiences. The "nonpeakers" are healthy, but they lack poetry and soaring flights of the imagination. Both peakers and nonpeakers can be self-actualized in that they're not motivated by basic needs, but by something higher. Yes, the ultimate happiness for man is the realization of pure beauty and truth, which are the ultimate values.

What we need is a system of thought-you might even call it a religion --that can bind humans together. A system that would fit the Republic of Chad as well as the United States: They're searching for something they can pour all that emotion into, and the churches are not much help. I'm not alone in trying to make it. There are plenty of others working toward the same end. Perhaps their efforts, aided by the hundreds of youngsters who are devoting their lives to this, will develop a new image of man that rejects the chemical and technological views.

The technologist is the person who has fallen in love with a machine. I suppose that has also happened to those in psychology? They become fascinated with the machine. It's almost a neurotic love. They're like the man who spends Sundays polishing his car instead of stroking his wife.

In several of your papers, you've said that you stopped being a behaviorist when your first child was born. My whole training at Wisconsin was behaviorist.

I didn't question it until I began reading some other sources. Later, I began studying the Rorschach test. I had already become disillusioned with Bertrand Russell and with English philosophy generally. Their writings destroyed behaviorism for me without my recognizing it.

When my first baby was born, that was the thunderclap that settled things. I looked at this tiny, mysterious thing and felt so stupid. I felt small, weak, and feeble. I'd say that anyone who's had a baby couldn't be a behaviorist. I have worked out a lot of good tricks for fending off professional attacks. We all have to do that. A good, controlled experiment is possible only when you already know a hell of a lot. If I'm a pioneer by choice and I go into the wilderness, how am I going to make careful experiments?

If I tried to, I'd be a fool. I'm not against careful experiments. But rather, I've been working with what I call "growing tip" statistics. With a tree, all the growth takes place at the growing tips. Humanity is exactly the same. All the growth takes place in the growing tip: It's made up of pioneers, the beginners. That's where the action is.

That it's possible to set up social institutions that merge selfishness and unselfishness, so that you can't benefit yourself without benefiting others. We all should look at the similarities within the various disciplines and think of enlarging psychology. To throw anything away is crazy. Good psychology should include all the methodological techniques, without having loyalty to one method, one idea, or one person.

I see you as a catalyst and as a bridge between many disciplines, theories, and philosophies. My job is to put them all together. We shouldn't have " humanistic psychology. The great educational experiences of my life were those that taught me most. They taught me what kind of a person I was. These were experiences that drew me out and strengthened me. Psychoanalysis was a big thing for me. Marriage is a school itself. Becoming a father changed my whole life.

The expanded hierarchy of needs

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The practical implications of Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs in the workplaces are significant. Because being equipped with the theory managers would know that they would have to apply the immediate needs of their employees if managers would like to motivate them.

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Abraham Maslow was born in New York in and studied psychology and Gestalt psychology at the University of Wisconsin and the New School for Social Research, respectively (Encyclopædia Brittanica).

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Maslow earned all three of his degrees in psychology from the University of Wisconsin: a bachelor's degree in , a master's degree in and a doctorate in Career and Humanistic Theories Abraham Maslow began teaching at Brooklyn College in and continued to work as a member of the school's faculty until Abraham Maslow: Abraham Maslow, American psychologist and philosopher best known for his self-actualization theory of psychology, which argued that the primary goal of psychotherapy should be the integration of the self. Maslow studied psychology at the University of .

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Maslow’s Hierarchy research papers examine the theory, developed by Abraham Maslow, in which human development is laid out along a hierarchy, from the most basic to the more psychologically advanced needs of a person. Order a research paper on Maslow's Hierarchy from Paper Masters. Overcoming Evil: An interview with Abraham Maslow, founder of humanistic psychology. Psychology Today. You gave up all your experimental research in these fields. Maslow: Yes, around I.