Abraham Maslow

Topics: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Abraham Maslow, Psychology Pages: 8 (1616 words) Published: February 21, 2015


Abraham Maslow

Brittany Benjamin
Human Growth and Development
Professor O'Dowd
November 30, 2013
Abraham Maslow
"The story of the human race is the story of men and women selling themselves short." (quote information) While researching different developmental theorist, many things certain theorists came up with were not appealing in my mind and did not believe to be true. For example, theorist John B. Watson believed that he could train any healthy infant, no matter the circumstances, to grow and become any type of specialist that Watson would choose. Reading that alone about Watson checked him off the list of contenders because of my disbelief of his theory. Choosing your favorite theorist turned out not being too easy. Many theorist approaches for development are very interesting and have truth behind them. One developmental theorist though caught my attention more than the others. Abraham Harold Maslow had a rather challenging childhood. He was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He had six siblings and was the eldest of them all, the first born. His parents only wanted what they never had which was the best for their seven children. He was known to be quite lonely as a child and would take up his time reading. Maslow was pressured by his parents to always to well academically. As he got older he studied at the City College of New York and Cornell before surprisingly enough marrying his first cousin, Bertha Goodman and later having two daughters. Maslow ended up moving him and his family to Wisconsin to attend the University of Wisconsin. At the University of Wisconsin is when he first became realized he was interested in psychology. He later graduated from the University of Wisconsin and was awarded a BA, MA, and Phd in psychology. After that he ended up moving back to New York. He worked with E.L. Thorndike at Columbia University. Maslow met Kurt Goldstein in 1951 and that’s when his theory began. Goldstein was the person who taught him about self-actualization. During this time he realized his passion and found something new to study that was very important to him. There were two people he met that inspired him during his time working at Brooklyn College. Those people were anthropologist Ruth Benedict and psychologist Max Wertheimer. Since he thought of them as being such amazing people, he ended studying them and using them as his starting point for his theory. During the process of studying self-actualization, he came up with his own theory on it. Maslow ended up playing a big role in humanistic psychology. He was one of the founders. During this time, in the 1950s, humanistic psychology was a big deal. It led to Maslow coming up with the hierarchy of needs. He was all about learning about the growth of an individual and what a person’s ultimate goal was within themselves. Sadly, he passed away in 1970 at the age of only 62 years old from a heart attack. Maslow believed that humans try to ultimately find themselves and their self worth. He believes that ultimately what humans look for as developmental is self-actualization. The end goal for being a human is to find out what makes them the person they are whether it be their talents and/or abilities. We all hope that one day we will ultimately find of sense of self. The process towards self-actualization usually starts around young adulthood. When Maslow studied monkeys, he noticed that some of the monkeys needs overpowered some of the other needs. He said that if they were both hungry and thirsty, that the monkey would try its best to fulfill its thirst before its hungry because you only have days you can go without a drink unlike with food. Because of this study he was able to create his hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy of needs is a pyramid of different levels to get to an individual’s ultimate goal of self-actualization. There are five different levels to the hierarchy of needs which are, in order, the...

References: Cherry , K. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/developmentstudyguide/p/devthinkers.htm
Skidmore, J. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.uen.org/Lessonplan/preview.cgi?LPid=4411
Cherry, K. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://psychology.about.com/od/profilesmz/p/abraham-maslow.htm
Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being (2nd ed.). Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand.
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