Personality Theory

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Personality Theory Paper
Bonnie Garcia
University of Phoenix/PSYCH 504
Dr. Melissa Venezia
April 19, 2010

In this paper I have chosen Abraham Maslow to explain how his theory has influenced my understanding of the personalities and behaviors of people in society and in the workplace. Furthermore, I will explain how Maslow’s theory has influenced my position in society and in the workplace, along with my interactions with others.

Abraham Maslow brought a bright outlook to the world of psychology with his idea of "hierarchy of human needs.” His idea of an "authentic self” that core part of an individual who strives towards growth, is then measured one of the foundation stones of the Humanistic movement.

The foundation of Maslow's theory of motivation is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed. According to the teachings of Abraham Maslow, there are general needs (physiological, safety, love, and esteem) that have to be satisfied before a person can proceed unselfishly.

According to Maslow’s basic needs hierarchy everyone is born with individual needs. If those needs are not met, one cannot survive and focus upward within the hierarchy. The first level consists of survival needs. One requires oxygen, sleep, water, and food to survive.

After those needs are met, one can shift his or her focus to the next level, the need for security and safety. When pursuing safety needs, one attempts to secure safety in others and desire to form an environment that protects us, keeping us free from harm. According to Maslow one may lay with the notion of job security and the knowing that an income will be available to them regularly. Until these goals are met, it is unlikely that someone would consider higher order needs, and his or her growth is then stifled. When someone experiences safety and security, they attempt to build friendships and establish a sense of belonging to a greater whole.

Maslow's third level of needs, the social needs of belonging and love, focus on our desire to be belong to a group and have a place in a larger whole. Meeting on a social level one can move one step closer to the top of the triangle. Esteem need is the need for status and recognition within society, status sometimes drives people, the need to have a good job title and be recognized or the need to wear branded clothes as a symbol of status. --The fourth level: esteem needs.

Those attempting to fulfill esteem needs channel their energy on respect from others, self-esteem, self-respect, and gaining recognition for our accomplishments in life. One can move forward to excel in careers, to expand knowledge, or constantly increase our self-esteem.

The final level in the hierarchy is called the need for self-actualization. According to Maslow, many people may be in this level but very few, if anybody, ever master it. As Maslow expressed, “What a man can be, he must be.” Self-actualization refers to a complete understanding of the self. To be self-actualized means to know who he or she is, where he or she belongs in the greater society, and to feel like he or she is accomplishing all. It means to no longer sense shame or guilt, or even hate, but to accept the world and see human nature as essentially good. Self-actualization is the realization that an individual has reached his or her potential in life.

Maslow condemned behaviorism, Maslow professed that humanity is aware of motivation and drives on the whole. Without life's obstacles, all of humanity would become healthy psychologically, reaching a deep self-understanding and acceptance of society and the world around them. Maslow reinforced his energy on realizing the positive aspects of mankind.

"Proper management of the work lives of human beings, of the way in which they earn their living, can improve them and improve the world and in this sense is...
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