Abraham Harold Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of self-actualization. Maslow was a psychology professor at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University. He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a "bag of symptoms."
Abraham Maslow Quotes"For any man of good will, there is work to be done here, effective, virtuous, satisfying work which can give rich meaning to one's own life and to others"
MetamotivationMaslow used the term metamotivation to describe self actualized people who are driven by innate forces beyond their basic needs, so that they may explore and reach their full human potential.
B-valuesIn studying accounts of peak experiences, Maslow identified a manner of thought he called "Being-cognition" (or "B-cognition", which is holistic and accepting, as opposed to the evaluative "Deficiency-cognition" or "D-cognition") and values he called "Being-values". He listed the B-values as:
- Wholeness (unity; integration; tendency to one-ness; interconnectedness; simplicity; organization; structure; dichotomy-transcendence; order);
- Perfection (necessity; just-right-ness; just-so-ness; inevitability; suitability; justice; completeness; "oughtness");
- Completion (ending; finality; justice; "it's finished"; fulfillment; finis and telos; destiny; fate);
- Justice (fairness; orderliness; lawfulness; "oughtness");
- Aliveness (process; non-deadness; spontaneity; self-regulation; full-functioning);
- Richness (differentiation, complexity; intricacy);
- Simplicity (honesty; nakedness; essentiality; abstract, essential, skeletal structure);
- Beauty (rightness; form; aliveness; simplicity; richness; wholeness; perfection; completion; uniqueness; honesty);
- Goodness (rightness; desirability; oughtness; justice; benevolence; honesty);
- Uniqueness (idiosyncrasy; individuality; non-comparability; novelty);
- Effortlessness (ease; lack of strain, striving or difficulty; grace; perfect, beautiful functioning);
- Playfulness (fun; joy; amusement; gaiety; humor; exuberance; effortlessness);
- Truth (honesty; reality; nakedness; simplicity; richness; oughtness; beauty; pure, clean and unadulterated; completeness; essentiality).
- Self-sufficiency (autonomy; independence;
environment-transcendence; separateness; living by its own laws).
Hierarchy of Needs
- At the bottom of the pyramid are the “Basic needs or Physiological needs” of a human being: food, water, sleep and sex.
- The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability.” These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person. Once individuals have basic nutrition, shelter and safety, they attempt to accomplish more.
- The third level of need is “Love and Belonging,” which are psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others, such as with family and friends.
- The fourth level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished. This is the “Esteem” level, the need to be competent and recognized, such as through status and level of success.
- Then there is the “Cognitive” level, where individuals intellectually stimulate themselves and explore.
- After that is the “Aesthetic” level, which is the need for harmony, order and beauty.
- At the top of the pyramid, “Need for Self-actualization,” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding because they have achieved their full potential. Once a person has reached the self-actualization state they focus on themselves and try to build their own image. They may look at this in terms of feelings such as self-confidence or by accomplishing a set goal.
Maslow wrote that there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the basic needs to be satisfied. For example, freedom of speech, freedom to express oneself, and freedom to seek new information are a few of the prerequisites. Any blockages of these freedoms could prevent the satisfaction of the basic needs.