Abraham Maslow and the Hierarchy of Human Needs
Uploaded by rayjones on Jan 19, 2005
Abraham Maslow and the Heirarchy of Human Needs
Abraham Harold Maslow was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the oldest of seven children born to his parents, who were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents, wanting the best for their children in the “new world”, pushed him hard in his academic studies. He was smart but shy, and remembered his childhood as being lonely and rather unhappy. He sought refuge in his books and studies. His father hoped he would study as a lawyer, and Maslow enrolled in the City College of New York. After three semesters at CCNY, he transferred to Cornell and then back to CCNY again. He married his first cousin Bertha, against his parents wishes and moved to Wisconsin, where he would attend the University of Wisconsin for graduate school. Here he met his chief mentor Professor Harry Harlow, and became interested in psychology, and his schoolwork began to improve dramatically. He pursued a new line of research, investigating primate dominance behavior and sexuality. He recieved his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in the field of psychology, all from the University of Wisconson. Ayear after he graduated he returned to New York to work with E.L. Thorndike at Colombia, where he studied similar topics. From 1937 to 1951, Maslow worked full-time on staff at Brooklyn College. In NY he found two more mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he he admired both professionally and personally. These two people were so accomplished in what they did and such “wonderful human beings”, that Maslow began taking notes about them and their behavior. This would be the foundation for his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. He wrote extensively on the subject, taking ideas from other psychologists and adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of human needs, metaneeds, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences. Maslow became the leader of the humanistic school of psychology that emerged in the 1950\'s and 1960\'s, which he referred to as the “third force”, beyond Freudian theory and behaviorism. Also during this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the United States, Brooklyn in particular, people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists. In...