Psychology Essay Sample: Maslow’s Concept

How Has Abraham Maslow’s Concept of Self-Actualization Affected Psychology?

Abraham Maslow was an American psychologist. He was one of the founders of a new trend in psychology –  humanistic psychology.

Maslow said: “What a man can be, he must be. This need we call self-actualization”. Self-actualization is a term that has been  used in lots of psychology theories  in some different ways.The concept became well-known due to Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

It contains: physiological needs, safety needs, love and affection, estimation, self actualization, which means realization of capabilities and talents. According to Maslow, the highest specific features of a human being, such as love and creativity, are laid in his biological character as his inborn potentials, which are actualized under the influence of some social life conditions. The highest demands that are underlain, can determine behaviour only after the lowest  will be satisfied. Self-actualization is not a passive state. It is an acting process when abilities of a person are fully applied.  He also discovered that self-actualization is achieved only by a small number of people who are the examples of a full-fledged personality. Maslow described them as easy-going, practical, selective, creative, independent, deep and democratic in their relations. These people are devoted to their work or business.

Maslow’s thinking was different from his  associates’ thinking. Most psychologists before him had dealt with mentally deranged people. He worked with normal and successful. He wanted to know what made up mental health and he looked at positive side of things and how they go.

In spite of the fact that Maslow’s ideas have been criticized for the lack of scientific case, his positive humanistic  psychology gave birth to several different therapies, e.g. client centered therapy created by Carl Rogers. Maslow’s ideas are widely spread in the fields of management, preparing and training staff and in  education area. They are also  successfully applied by many scientists nowadays.

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