Abraham Maslow 1908 - 1970
Biography • Born in 1908 in Brooklyn. • Son of very poor Russian immigrants • Family life not good: • Father instilled intense drive to succeed • “loved whiskey, women, and fighting” • Mother was cruel • “My family was a miserable family and my mother a horrible creature” • “with my childhood, it’s a wonder I’m not psychotic” • “The whole thrust of my life philosophy and all my research and theorizing…has its roots in a hatred and revulsion against everything she stood for”
Biography • Had huge inferiority complex • “I felt peculiar. This was really in my blood, a very profound feeling that somehow I was wrong. Never any feelings that I was superior. Just one big inferiority complex.” • Turned to books as his refuge
Biography • Attended Cornell University • Married his cousin Bertha. • Gave him a feeling of belonging and sense of direction. • Originally found psychology to be “awful and bloodless…nothing to do with people, so I shuddered and turned away from it.” • Later discovered behaviorism and adopted it believing it could solve all the world’s problems.
Biography • Deeply effected by birth of first child and onset of WWII. • Received PhD from University of Wisconsin in 1934 • After watching a parade shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, committed himself to developing a psychology that would deal with the highest human ideals. He would work to improve the human personality and to demonstrate that people are capable of displaying better behaviors than prejudice, hatred, and aggression.
Biography • Became very popular figure in psychology and general public. • President of APA 1967 • Died in 1970 of a heart attack
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Self-actualization needs Need to live up to one’s fullest and unique potential Esteem needs Need for self-esteem, achievement, competence, and independence; need for recognition and respect from others l Belongingness and love needs Need to love and be loved, to belong and be accepted; need to avoid loneliness and alienation Safety needs Need to feel that the world is organized and predictable; need to feel safe, secure, and stable Physiological needs Need to satisfy hunger and thirst
Characteristics of the Hierarch of Needs • Innate (Instinctoid) • Although innate, can be affected or overridden by learning, social expectations, and fear of disapproval • Needs arranged from strongest to weakest (basic , social, self actualization) • The lower the need on the pyramid, the greater its strength, potency, and priority • We are only driven by one need at a time • Lower needs must be satisfied partially before the next higher need becomes influential or important (prepotency)
Characteristics of the Hierarch of Needs • Since higher needs are less necessary for actual survival, their gratification can be postponed • Failure to satisfy a higher need does not produce a crisis but do lead to improved health and longevity • Beneficial psychologically and leads to contentment, happiness and fulfillment
Characteristics of the Hierarch of Needs • For self actualization to occur we must: • Be free of the constraints of society and self • Not be distracted by lower-order needs • Be secure in our self image and relationship with others • Have realistic knowledge of our strength and weaknesses, virtues and vices, etc.
Characteristics of the Hierarch of Needs • More are not self actualized because: • The higher the need, the weaker it is and more easily inhibited • Inadequate education and improper child rearing practices can thwart the drive for self actualization in adulthood • Overprotection or over permissiveness are harmful to adult motivation • Insufficient love and satisfaction of physiological and safety needs
Characteristics of the Hierarch of Needs • More are not self actualized because: • Jonah Complex • “fear of own’s own greatness…evasion of one’s destiny…running away from one’s own best talents” • Because it takes courage, effort, discipline, and self control for people to achieve it
Characteristics of Self Actualizers • Autonomy • Motivated by need for growth • An acceptance of themselves, others, and the natural world • Lack of self consciousness, shame and guilt • Non judgmental toward others • Spontaneity, simplicity, and naturalness • Spend less time worrying about what others or society thinks about them • Able to focus on problems at hand being able to put their self and ego aside • Includes dedication to causes w/o thought of their own benefit
Characteristics of Self Actualizers • A sense of detachment and need for privacy • Distinct need for solitude • View events objectively w/o emotional attachment • A freshness of appreciation • The pleasurable experiences of life continue to offer their original satisfactions • Mystical or peak experiences • Social interest (Gemeinschaftsgefuhl) • Deep and profound interpersonal relations
Characteristics of Self Actualizers • Democratic character structure • Friendly with all • Open to learning from all • Freedom to be self and for others to have the same freedom • Creativeness and originality • Resistance to enculturation • Strong ethical sense • Moral without need of a religious or external authority for their morality • Gentle and philosophical sense of humor