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Personality Theory of Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was mentored by Alfred Adlerùan early follower of Freudùas well as Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, among other great psychological thinkers (ôAbraham Maslowö). He enjoyed their company so much that he began taking notes about them and their behavior; these notes became the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about the subjects of mental health and human potential, which culminated in three key concepts: the hierarchy of needs, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences (ôAbraham Maslowö). At the base of his drive to learn about human behavior was a question about his own psyche; he once remarked: ôI was awfully curious to find out why I didn't go insane" (ôAbraham Maslowö). That curiosity led Maslow to probe the needs and motivations that drive human behavior.

MaslowÆs hierarchy of needs demonstrated how people with unmet basic needs like air, water, and food were necessarily focused on getting those needs met, inhibiting them from achieving self-actualization until they could accomplish that; however, once all of the basic needs below on the hierarchy were met, they could achieve the highest needùself-actualization (ôAbraham Maslowö). Using Ruth Benedict and Max Wertheimer as the models for his concept of self-actualization, Maslow determined that self-actualizing people ôpeople tend to focus on problems outside of themselves, have a clear sense of what is true and what is phony, are spontaneous and creative, and are not bound too strictly by social conventionsö (ôAbraham Maslowö).

MaslowÆs concept of peak experiences reflects the joy and satisfaction inherent in being self-actualized. Peak experiences happen often to self-actualized people and include ôprofound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, when a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so o...

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Personality Theory of Abraham Maslow. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:51, August 03, 2020, from