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Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow was an American psychology professor who was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1908. Maslow remains famous for his contributions to psychology in terms of the theory he proposed otherwise known as The Hierarchy of Needs. He is also known the empathetic, compassionate founder of Humanistic Psychology which entails the focus on every individual’s potential and stresses upon significance of growth and self actualization. Humanistic Psychology, according to Maslow and his kind, states that people are innately good natured. According to his theory, mental and social disorders result as a deviation from a human’s natural ‘goodness.’

Abraham Maslow migrated from Russia; he was the first child among seventh others in his Jewish family. In his notes, he mentioned his childhood as lonesome and rather abysmal and that he enjoyed spending his time perusing fiction and nonfiction in the library. Initially Maslow intended on studying law at City College in New York but he decided to change to University of Wisconsin where he developed interest in psychology. It was in Wisconsin where Maslow found a great mentor and guide in his doctoral advisor Harry Harlow. Maslow commenced teaching at Brooklyn College in 1937 where he continued working as a member to the faculty of the institute. His influences include the famous Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer as well as well known anthropologist Ruth Benedict. Due to his admiration for these people, Maslow studied and analyzed them for his theories that later on proved to become the foundation of his contributions.

Later on Maslow became the driving force behind humanistic psychology. His hypothesis became well acknowledged theories that included the famous hierarchy of needs in addiction to self actualization. His analysis and experiences formed fundamental subjects in the humanist movement pertaining to psychological studies. In an era where psychologists focused on the clinical aspects of mental and social disorders, Maslow made a significant attempt at understanding and asserting the belief that humans are capable of wonderful, altruistic deeds. His emphasis was on the good nature of his animate surroundings. He extrapolated on human nature, tendencies and how one’s potential and peaks can be materialized into reality. Abraham Maslow paid much attention on the notion to increase one’s personal growth and goodness by dispelling the overtly cold, somewhat insensitive studies other psychologists put forth as their studies.

Interestingly enough, Maslow’s contribution did not sync in well with those of his peers; his theories were deemed too “positive” and “optimistic” for the academics studying them. This criticism did not, however, inhibit Maslow from injecting a strong sense of hope and resurgence in positive psychology. He was highly opposed to the idea of treating humans as “bags of symptoms”; his contributions insisted upon connecting with humans to understand them so they could receive the catharsis and solution they required. In his Hierarchy of Needs, Maslow compassionately explains the needs of human beings in the form of a pyramid. They belong to categories of psychological ones, ones related to love, esteem, self actualization and safety. This pyramid has long described and translated the basic nature of human beings around us. It is because of his genius theory today people can relate to their wants and needs in the form of a simple, colorful pyramid.

Abraham Maslow passed away due to a heart attack on June 8, 1970.

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