Abraham Maslow Essay Research Paper Damian Duguid

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Abraham Maslow Essay, Research Paper Damian Duguid “Dead Psychologists Society” Abraham Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1908. Maslow went to the City College of New York when he was 18 to study law. He had an extremely high IQ but did very poorly in school and soon left college. It was later learned that Maslow attended college to study law largely to make his father happy although he had little interest in becoming a lawyer. He was first introduced to psychology at Cornell University where he hoped to receive a higher level of academic stimulation. Unfortunately, he found this experience disagreeable and was soon on his way home to Brooklyn, where he was united with his family and a special friend and cousin, Bertha Goodman. Maslow eventually married Bertha

despite the concerns of his friends and family. Finally he would enroll in the University of Wisconsin where his love for psychology flourished. Maslow created the theory of self-actualization assuming that all people are good by nature or at least neutral. He believed that the encouraged development of self-actualization helps individuals to reach their full potential. Maslow stated that a healthy development is only possible if a society “offers all necessary raw materials and then gets out of the way and stands aside to let the organism itself utter its wishes and demands and make its choices”(Ryckman pp. 435). If an environment is restrictive and minimizes personal choice the individual may develop in neurotic ways. In addition to this Maslow created what he called a

hierarchy of human needs. These needs are called deficiency (basic) needs and growth (meta) needs. Simply, individuals basic needs must be satisfied before one could proceed to the growth needs. These needs are put in order of importance as Maslow saw it. The hierarchy consists of five separate stages, they are named in order: Physiological needs, Safety needs, Belongingness and Love needs, Self – Esteem needs, and finally Self-Actualization and growth needs. While basic needs are generally classified as physiological needs of an individual, Maslow recognized a flaw in this thinking. There may be exceptions to the heirachy needs of an individual. For example there are competitive people whose need to compete is more important than anything else in the world. Some people have

such high and moral standards they would rather loose a close friend than give up their beliefs. Finally Maslow believed that when any of these needs are not being met the person becomes emotionally sick until the problem is resolved. Abraham Maslow was considered to be a humanist psychologist. Theorists that are deemed humanists generally emphasize the uniqueness of an individual and generally believe that the individual should be free to make decisions without the influence of society. Maslow would assert that most societies naturally coerce individuals into behaving appropriately or “normally” according to society. Humanistic psychologists believe that individuals should be allowed to make their own decisions if they are to achieve their full potential. Maslow may have

developed his theory of the hierarchy of needs as a direct result of his attempt and failure at the study of law. During the late twenties and early thirties it was important for a child to respect his parents and reach their expectations of success. During this time period law was more highly regarded than psychology. Maslow probably viewed his decision to study law as a decision forced by society and his parents. This supports his idea that a society that asserts the standard for normal most often produces mediocre people who most often obey the moral standard set forth by society. Furthermore, it seems that much of Maslow’s success as a psychologist comes after his marriage to Bertha. When describing the first kiss he shared with Bertha Maslow describes it; “Bertha