Abraham Maslow

  • Category: Psychology
  • Words: 807
  • Grade: 100
Part I: Abraham Harold Maslow was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. As a young boy Maslow became a very lonely boy and found his refuge in books because his parents enforced nothing but academic success. To satisfy his parents he first studied law at the City College of New York. After he finished college he married his first cousin Bertha Goodman. They had two daughters. They moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin. Here, he became interested in psychology, and his schoolwork began to improve dramatically. In 1951, Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein, who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization, and began his own theoretical work. He spent his final year in semi-retirement in California, until June 8, 1970 he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.
Part II: Abraham Maslow's theory the hierarchy of needs states that people will strive to full fill progressively higher levels of needs and are constantly motivated by the needs, which is diagrammed on pg.5. Maslow established a hierarchy of five levels of basic needs, the person does not feel the second need until the demands of the first have been satisfied, nor the third until the second has been satisfied, and so on. The first need is physiological this includes things such as food, water, and oxygen. This need is one of the strongest motivators. This need has two unique features: 1) it can be completely or overly satisfied, and 2) it is a reoccurring need.
        The next step in the hierarchy is the need for safety. After our physiological needs have been met, we are now motivated by our desire and need for safety. Stability, dependency, physical security, and freedom from illness, anxiety, and danger are just a few things we seek. The need for law and order also falls under the heading of safety.
        If these first two needs are not met, a person will develop basic anxiety. Failure to have these needs met will result in problems as adults. A person will become neurotic and feel unsafe because of irrational fears carried over from childhood.
        The need for love and belongingness is next. The need for love, friendship, a mate, a family and the need to belong to a club, nation or neighborhood mark this level. Many people remain stuck at this stage by instantly trying to be loved and accepted. This often happens when a person is partially denied and affection will go a long time without love. Eventually, the person will devalue love. On the other hand, a person who receives love and is then denied will become rooted in this stage. Only by receiving adequate love can a person continue to develop.
Esteem needs are next. Maslow defined two levels of esteem needs: self-esteem and reputation. Self-esteem is a person's own feelings of worth and confidence, where as reputation is based on recognition and prestige that is reflective of other people's opinion. Most people desire to be confident in their own eyes rather than in other's.
The final stage is self-actualization. People who are self-actualized are aware of their full potential and are capable of achieving it. They do not allow society or culture to deny them or their basic needs. Many people never reach this stage of development. They will meet their other needs, but fail to progress further. Maslow said this was because people do not embrace the being-values. These are the highest level of needs and are called "metaneeds". Maslow identified 14 B-values: truth, goodness, beauty, wholeness, aliveness, uniqueness, perfection, completion, justice and order, simplicity, totality, effortlessness, humor and autonomy. When we are denied humor, we become somber; denied truth, we become paranoid; denied justice, we become fearful. Beyond these needs are higher levels of needs, including understanding, esthetic appreciation and purely spiritual needs.
Part III: Maslow's work is self-explanatory and I think is useful and true. Its impact on child development is that it gives us an understanding why children grow up to be who they are today. Hierarchy explains to people studying this field that we are what we are due to what was or wasn't provided for us in our life. Maslow believed that the only reason that people would not move successfully toward self-actualization is because of hindrance's placed in their way by society or environment.
I end this paper with a statement made by Abraham Harold Maslow: "Deprivation of any of the B-values results in meta-pathology, or the lack of a meaningful philosophy of life."
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