Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Road to Self-Actualization

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow, Psychology Pages: 7 (2473 words) Published: October 22, 2012
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and the Road to Self-Actualization PSY 330: Theories of Personality
January 30th, 2012

Abraham Maslow: Hierarchy of Needs and the Road to Self-Actualization

Abraham Maslow was an American theorist that was one of the advocates of humanistic psychology. He believed that self-actualization is “a situation that exists when a person is acting in accordance with his or her full potential” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2011). I will illustrate the key concepts of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs of humans, research the methodologies of his concept, and address how self-actualization has conceptualized on this type of personality development. His contribution to humanistic psychology has helped self-help enthusiasts, educators, and business proprietors alike. Maslow's hierarchy of need was one of the main theories that assisted in paving the route to what he believed was self-actualization. Because Positive regard assists in the growth of motivation, there are certain essential functional needs that human needs, and Humans can fulfill their full potential in a positive manner.

Who was Abraham H. Maslow? Abraham Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1908. His parents were immigrants from Russia who were poor and had six other children after Abraham. He spent his time mostly by himself and liked to read. Being that he was Jewish in a neighborhood that was not he felt unhappy and lonely. As a child he had parents that were emotionally and verbally abusive towards him and over time he grew to have strong feelings of hatred especially for his mother. He eventually made amends with his father, but never did so with his mother.

When Maslow transferred from City College of New York to Cornell University in 1927; his introduction to Psychology was unexceptional at best. Maslow’s professor Edward B. Tichener lectured “scientific introspection” that he found to be “cold and boring, and caused him to lose interest in psychology temporarily” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2011). A year later he went back to City College of New York. He went on to the University of Wisconsin where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in 1930, his Master’s Degree in 1931, and his Doctoral Degree in 1934. While living in Wisconsin, “Maslow married his first cousin and childhood sweetheart, Bertha Goodman, and they eventually had two children” (Hergenhahn & Olson, 2011).

In the mid 1930’s, Maslow worked as a Carnegie fellow for 18 months under theorist Edward L. Thorndike. Thorndike’s theories were similar to the studies of theorists Pavlov and B.F. Skinner. He theorized “animal intelligence and applied animal to human educational experiences” (Indiana.edu, 2012). Thorndike emphasis was on Behaviorism and Psychoanalysis. The type of people he was interested in like Albert Einstein were people that had solid evidence of them doing whatever they needed to do to achieve their highest potential. Maslow found their innovative ways of creativity to be one that needed to be studied and examined.

Throughout the 1940’s and early 1950’s he continued to strengthen his interest with people that he considered to be “self-actualizers, looking back at history, he studied individuals such as Abraham Lincoln, Jane Adams, Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer” (strenghtfoundation.org). By the late 1950’s, along with Clark Moustakeas, who was another revolutionary psychologist, set up “two meetings that were held in Detroit among psychologists who were interested in founding a professional association dedicated to a more meaningful, more humanistic vision” (strenghtfoundation.org). This was where the “Third Force”, Humanistic Psychology began to take form. Many topics were discussed that fell under the same umbrella on how self-actualization is manifested and what were the building blocks of one’s originality. Three years after the meetings Brandels University...

References: Hergenhahn, B. & Olson, M. (2011). An introduction to theories of personality (8th ed).
De Brouwer, P.. (2009). Maslowian Portfolio Theory: An alternative formulation of the Behavioural Portfolio Theory. Journal of Asset Management, 9(6), 359-365. Retrieved January 29, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1645869911).
Dhiman, S.. (2007). Personal Mastery: Our Quest for Self-Actualization, Meaning, and Highest Purpose. Interbeing, 1(1), 25-35. Retrieved January 29, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 1680535071
Lowry, R. J. (1975). Dominance, Self Esteem, Self-Actualization: Germinal Papers. Contemporary Sociology, 4(5), 556-557. Retrieved January 24, 2012, from the Jstor database.
Hagerty, Michael R. (1999). Testing Maslow 's hierarchy of needs: National quality-of-life across time. Social Indicators Research, 46(3), 249-271. Retrieved January 30, 2012, from ABI/INFORM Global. (Document ID: 42213750).
Figure 1, Maslow Enhanced | CIBU - California International Business University. (2011, March 14). Bachelor Degree, MBA Program, Doctor of Business Administration: CIBU - California International Business University. Retrieved January 27, 2012, from http://cibu.edu/general-posts/maslow-enhanced/
Human Intelligence: Edward L. Thorndike. (2012, January 26). Indiana University. Retrieved January 29, 2012, from http://www.indiana.edu/~intell/ethorndike
Abraham Maslow’s work on strengths - The Strengths Foundation. (n.d.). Welcome to The Strengths Foundation - Sharing the Strengths Way of Encouraging People. Retrieved January 29, 2012, from http://www.thestrengthsfoundation.org/3-tips-for-understanding-abraham-maslows-work-on-strengths
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