The Life of Abraham Maslow
March 21, 2013
Abraham Maslow was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia and he was the oldest of seven siblings. His father was a hardcore drinker of whiskey, loved women, and would often pick fights with other people. He did not like his father, yet over the years he learned to deal with him in a peaceful manner. On the other hand, Abraham Maslow had complete hatred for his mother throughout his whole life. As he grew older, he did not have any sympathy or love for her. It was so bad that when she passed away he did not attend her funeral. He described his mother as a heartless, uneducated, ignorant, and aggressive individual. She did not show any sympathy towards her children and would sometimes drive them crazy. His anger towards his mother inspired his pursuit and career in humanistic psychology (Hergenhahn, 2005, p. 584).
He attended Boys High School and continued his education at the City College of New York. There, he fulfilled his father’s wishes to pursue law school. After attending law school and being dissatisfied with the direction of his education, he decided to transfer to Cornell University where he was taught introductory psychology by Edward Titchner. He was not inspired by Titchner’s approach to psychology and decided to transfer back to City College after one semester. He also had the desire to be near his cousin Bertha Goodman, as they were very close. Maslow and Bertha attended the University of Wisconsin together. When he turned 20, he married Bertha, who was 19, despite the fact that she was his first cousin. In Maslow’s eyes, his life had officially begun in Wisconsin (Hergenhahn, 2005, p. 586).
Maslow earned his bachelor’s degree in 1930, his master’s in 1931, and his doctorate in 1934. He became the first doctoral student of Harry Harlow, who was a well known experimental psychologist. Maslow taught at Wisconsin before he moved to Columbia University. There, he became a research assistant for Edward Thorndike. In 1951, Maslow took the offer as chairman of the psychology department at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. This was where he made his mark and became the leader in third force psychology. In 1968, Maslow accepted another attractive offer by the Sega Administrative Corporation, located on Stanford University. The reason for accepting this offer was due to dissatisfaction towards his academic life and weakening health. This gave him the opportunity to think and write freely as he pleased. The life of Abraham Maslow ended on June 8, 1970, which resulted from a heart attack at 62 years old (Hergenhahn, 2005, p. 589).
During the 1960s, the United States was going through tough times. They were fighting in the Vietnam War, which was unpopular among the American citizens (Hergenhahn, 2005, p. 570). A few very important figures were assassinated during their peak hours, which caused some instability among the citizens. These figures included Martin Luther king was assassinated by James Ray (mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu) and John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Oswald (crdl.usg.edu). As a result, racial protests broke out among some major cities, which quickly turned violent. Hippies were also growing in popularity as they openly rebelled against others. Evidently, this was not a time period where rational philosophy or empirical philosophy was appealing (Hergenhahn, 2005, p. 571).
The schools of structuralism, functionalism, Gestalt psychology, behaviorism, and psychoanalysis existed during the 1920s and 1930s. However, by the 1950s, the school of structuralism had faded away, and the schools of functionalism and Gestalt psychology merged into other schools of psychology. Only behaviorism and psychoanalysis persisted as significant, complete schools of psychology during the...
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