Personal and Social Identity

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Personal and Social Identity Research Essay

There are many theories which help to understand the various aspects of how a person develops their personal and social sense of self. Two theories of personal development are Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and Erik Erikson’s 8 Life Crisis. Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. Abraham Maslow started his theory after finding two mentors in New York, and he began to study them and take notes on their behavior, this began his lifelong research about mental health and human potential which led him to create the concepts of the Hierarchy of Needs. This hierarchy of needs includes Physiological Needs, Safety Needs, Belongingness and Love Needs, Esteem Needs then Self-Actualization needs. Abraham Maslow made a massive impact on the way society understands human psychology. He was inspired by great minds, and used his brilliant mind to create his own concept of Humanistic Psychology. He conducted his research on the minds of mentally healthy people instead of mentally ill people; this allowed him to discover that all people experience “peak experiences”, high points in an individual’s life where they are in harmony with themselves and their surroundings. Maslow felt that human beings have certain basic needs that they must meet before they can go on to fulfill other needs. In order to explain his theory, Maslow created a visual aid which he called the Hierarchy of Needs; it is a pyramid diagram depicting the levels of human needs, psychological and physical. At the bottom of the pyramid are the “Psychological Needs” of a human being, food and water and even sex. The next level is “Safety Needs” which are the needs to feel secure, safe and out of danger. After that, there is the “Belongingness and Love Needs” which is the need to be accepted and belong. Then there is the “Esteem Needs” level, which is the need to achieve, be competent, gain approval and recognition.

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