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Abraham Maslow

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Abraham Maslow was born in New York in 1908. He was the eldest of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents hoping for the best for their children in the new world pushed him hard for academic success. He wanted to develop a psychology that would deal with the best and highest potentials in human nature. Maslow spent much of his career at Brandeis University, where he provided crucial leadership for the fledgling humanistic movement. He argued that psychology should take a greater interest in the nature of the healthy personality, instead of dwelling on the disorders. "To oversimplify the matter somewhat," he said, "it is as if Freud supplied to us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out the healthy half" (Maslow, 1968, p.5). Maslow's key contributions were his analysis of how motives are organized hierarchically and his description of the healthy personality. He emphasized belongingness, love, affection respect for other and building self-respect. Maslow developed the Hierarchy of Needs model in 1940-1950's, which remains valid for understanding human motivation, management training and personal development. Maslow's ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfill their own unique potential are today more relevant than ever. The basis of Maslow's theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs and that certain lower needs to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. According to Maslow, there are general types of needs that must be satisfied before a person can act unselfishly. He called these needs, deficiency needs. As long as we are motivated to satisfy these cravings, we are moving towards growth, toward self- actualization. Satisfying needs is healthy, while preventing gratification makes us sick or act evilly. Simply Maslow saw human beings' needs arranged like a ladder. The most basic needs, at the bottom, were the physical such as air, water, food, sex. Then came safety needs, such as security and stability. Maslow's thinking was surprisingly original, most psychology before him had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill., he wanted to know what constituted positive mental health.



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