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Personality Theories Paper

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Personality Theories Paper

Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) started his interest in psychology while attending the University of Wisconsin. Maslow received his bachelors in 1930, his masters in 1931 and three years after that he received his PhD in 1934. Maslow’s theory showed up during his work with monkeys. He noticed that certain needs took precedence over others such as the need of liquids over food, breathing over liquids and so forth, hence the theory of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs consists of five layers: the physiological needs, safety needs, belonging needs, esteem needs and self-actualization needs. The physiological needs are made up of basic animal needs “such as food, warmth, sex, water, and other body needs… If some needs are not fulfilled, a human's physiological needs take the highest priority. Physiological needs can control thoughts and behaviors, and can cause people to feel sickness, pain, and discomfort.” (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, 2008) The safety needs include things such as personal security, financial security, health and well-being, safety net against accidents and illness and things of this nature. The social need relates to friendship, companionship, intimacy, stability, and family support. As humans, we need to have a sense of belonging and acceptance. This is where the third tier comes into play. Social needs bring us together with others. Esteem needs deals with self-esteem. Without self-esteem and social awareness and outings, one can easily get depressed and start a path of low self-esteem and inferiority complexes. These four tiers are known as the deficit needs or as Maslow called it, D-needs.

“Self-actualization вЂ" a concept Maslow attributed to Kurt Goldstein, one of his mentors вЂ" is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their abilities and to strive to be the best they can. Working toward fulfilling our potential, toward becoming all that we are capable of becoming.” (Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, 2008) This is known as the being needs or B-needs, which are the complete opposite of the D-needs. Once the four other tiers are achieved, one reaches the self-actualization tier. This is a feeling that one continues to feel as times goes on where as the other four are, for lack of better words, forgotten as they are achieved. Someone who would be considered in the self-actualization stage is someone who welcomes problems and realities without avoiding them. They are problem solvers. They are very much spur-of-the-moment individuals and creative. “According to Maslow, the tendencies of self-actualizing people are as follows: awareness, honesty, freedom, and trust.” (Maslow's hierarchy of needs, 2008)

Maslow is a humanistic psychologist and contributed the hierarchy of needs to the study of humans. This has made a new understanding of how humans behave. “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. Humanistic psychology



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