Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy Of Needs Essay

1595 words - 6 pages

Outline

1. Biography
2. Theory
3. Theory Application to Teaching
4. Works Cited

Biography
Abraham Maslow was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first born of seven. His parents were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia to the United States before he was born. They came to America to get away from the harsh conditions and socio-political turmoil. His parents, hoping for their children to do better than they did, pushed for educational excellence. He grew up with almost no friends to play with because his father would make him study for long hours. When Maslow wasn’t busy studying, he was assisting his father to make end meet. He was a very lonely boy who spent a lot of his time with his nose in a book. He read works of Freud, Jung, Pavlov. He took a huge interest in psychology. To please his parents he first studied Law at the City College in New York City. After three semesters he couldn’t bare to take another Law class therefore he switched his major to psychology and transferred to Cornell, and then back to the City College. Maslow went against his parent’s wishes and got married to his own cousin, Bertha Goodman. Shortly after being married, the newly weds decided to move to Wisconsin.

In 1930, Maslow finished up his bachelors in psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Maslow had a thirst for knowledge and received his masters in 1931 and then his doctorate in 1934 both in psychology. During this time period Maslow and his wife started a family. They had two daughters, Dr. Ellen Maslow and Ann Kalpen.
In 1937 Maslow moved back to his hometown and began teaching at Brooklyn College and continued to work as a member of the school faculty until 1951. During this time, Gestalt psychologist Max Werheimer and anthropologist Ruth Benedict influenced him greatly. Marslow thought so highly of these two that he began to analyze and take note on how they behaved. This analysis served as the basis of his theories and research on human potential. In 1951 he switched jobs and started worked at Brandels University until 1969.

During the 1950’s Maslow became one of the founders and driving force behind the school of thought, known as humanistic psychology. His theories, hierarchy of needs, self-actualization and peak experienced became fundamental subjects in the humanist movement. Maslow argued that each person had a hierarchy of need that must be satisfied, ranging fro basis physiological requirements to love, esteem, and finally self-actualization. As each need is satisfied, the next higher level in the emotional hierarchy dominates conscious functioning.

Struggling with ill health, Maslow decided to spend his final year in California where he was half retired. On June 8, 1970 he died of a heart attack.

Theory
Maslow first introduced his theory of a hierarchy of needs in a paper he wrote in 1943 called “A Theory of Human Motivation,” and also in a book he wrote called Motivation and Personality....

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