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MaslowÆs Self-Actualization

The following essay includes a summary and critique of John R. SumerlinÆs (1997) experiment on MaslowÆs theory of self-actualization, Self-Actualization and Hope. By conducting research on a population of graduate students, Sumerlin (1997) maintains that self-actualization involves striving, courage, risk-taking, openness to experience, and attainment of personality growth capacity. MaslowÆs theory of needs is illustrated, including his views that self-actualized individuals represent the most ôhealthyö and ôenrichedö human beings. Results of the study may demonstrate gender bias (women scored higher on self-actualization), but do confirm the hypothesis that self-actualized individuals will exhibit higher levels of hope than non-self-actualized individuals. Future research needs conducted to account for possible gender bias and to confirm the positive relationship demonstrated within this study between hope and self-actualization.

John R. SumerlinÆs (1997) Self-Actualization and Hope presents a discussion of Abraham MaslowÆs hierarchy of needs and theory of self-actualization. SumerlinÆs study then describes the methodology and results of a study conducted on 149 graduate students attending a private university, to determine if there is a positive correlation between hope and self-actualization. The sample population included diverse races and both males and females. Instruments included the Brief Index of Self-Actualization, a 40-item measure specifically of MaslowÆs ideas, and the Hope Scale (Sumerlin 1997). The hypothesis predicted a positive correlation between MaslowÆs self-actualization and hope. The results of the study supported the hypothesis, that ôself-actualization is specifically related to movement toward full human potential,ö providing higher levels of hope in self-actualized versus non-self-actualized individuals (Sumerlin 1997, 1101).


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MaslowÆs Self-Actualization. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 06:43, February 19, 2017, from