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Abraham Maslow

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Abraham Maslow

Humanistic Psychology and the Hierarchy of Needs


Born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, NY.

IQ measured 195.

1928 - went to the University of Wisconsin to study psychology.

Doctoral work supervised by Harry Harlow in the primate laboratory.

His dissertation was an observational study of sexual behavior in monkeys.

1930-1935 remained at the University of Wisconsin as assistant instructor and teaching fellow.

1935-1937 went to Columbia University as a Carnegie fellow

At Columbia, interviewed female students about their sex lives, extending his earlier observations of monkeys.

1937-1951 associate professor at Brooklyn College where he met Alfred Adler, Karen Horney, and Kurt Goldstein.

1951-1969 professor and chair of the psychology department at Brandeis University.

1970 died of a heart attack.

Hierarchy of Needs

Definition: ordered progression of motives, from the basic physical needs upwards to motives of the most developed human beings.

Deficiency Motivation

the first four levels of the need hierarchy can be understood as motivation to overcome the feeling of a deficiency.

At these four levels, if a basic need is unmet, it leads to craving which directs action to get the need fulfilled. This fulfillment brings pleasure.

Each need must be met before the individual is free to move on to a "higher" need.

Physiological Needs

the needs for food, water, sleep, and sex.

If unmet, they dominate motivation, regardless whether higher-order needs are also unmet.

Lower animals may always live at this level, but humans usually have their physiological needs predictably met.



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