Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Abraham Maslow : Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow

Born : April 1, 1908  Brooklyn, New York
Died :  June 8, 1970 (aged 62)  California
Nationality : American
Fields : Psychology
                               Brandeis University

Doctoral advisor :  Harry Harlow
Known for :   Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). In 1927 he transferred to Cornell University, where his cousin Will Maslow was studying. His father hoped he would pursue law, but he went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. While there, he married his first cousin Bertha in December 1928, and found as his chief mentor, professor Harry Harlow. At Wisconsin he pursued an original line of research, investigating primate dominance behavior and sexuality. He went on to further research at Columbia University, continuing similar studies; there he found another mentor in Alfred Adler, one of Sigmund Freud's early followers.
From 1937 to 1951, Maslow was on the faculty of Brooklyn College. In New York he found two more mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he admired both professionally and personally. These two were so accomplished in both realms, and such "wonderful human beings" as well, that Maslow began taking notes about them and their behavior. This would be the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. He wrote extensively on the subject, borrowing ideas from other psychologists but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of needs, metaneeds, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences. Maslow became the leader of the humanistic school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s, which he referred to as the "third force" -- beyond Freudian theory and behaviorism.

Hierarchy of Needs : The Theory

Hierarchy of Needs

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.
2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.
3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.
4. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.
5. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.




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