Maslow's Self-Actualization

The following essay includes a summary and critique of John R. Sumerlin's (1997) experiment on Maslow's 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. Maslow's theory of needs is illustrated, including his views that self-actualized individuals represent the most "healthy" and "enriched" 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. Sumerlin's (1997) Self-Actualization and Hope presents a discussion of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs and theory of self-actualization. Sumerlin's 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-A



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