Theories of Personality

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Part 1: What are the similarities and differences between Rogers’ and Maslows’ interpretation of “self actualization”?

According to Carl Rogers “actualization is a tendency to develop capabilities in ways that maintain or enhance the organism” (Carver & Scheier, 2008, p. 322). He felt that if there weren’t strong forces working against an individual, then there was a stronger possibility of a positive, healthy growth. Rogers tended to shied away from the term "self actualization", which implies that a person has reached a fulfilled end state, and substituted for it the concept of the fully functioning person. Theorist Abraham Maslow and “was interested in the qualities of people who seem to get the most out of life – the most fully functioning of persons, the healthiest and best adjusted” (p. 332). Maslow created a hierarchy pyramid that consisted of five needs. Physiological needs rated at the bottom of the pyramid, then safety and physical security, followed by love and belongingness, then self-esteem, and rounding out the top was self-actualization.

Rogers ignored the physiological, safety and physical safety needs that Maslow thought were important enough to warrant a place on his hierarchy of needs and started with level three. “Maslow assumed, as did Rogers, that the need for acceptance could be more demanding than the need for self-actualization. The intermediate level of Maslow’s pyramid – esteem need – can be viewed as an elaboration on the need for positive regard. Esteem needs seem similar in many ways to Roger’s conditions of worth” (p. 334). Though this view was similar, Maslow and Rogers had a difference of opinion in how they viewed this particular purpose. Roger’s felt that giving into conditions of worth was a bad idea. “To Maslow, esteem needs are part of being human, although less important than the need to self-actualize. The two agreed, however, that this need can get in the way of self-actualization” (p. 334)....
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