The theorist I chose was Maslow, he was born in 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of seven children born to his parents, Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents, hoping for the best for their children in the New World, pushed him hard for academic success. He became the psychologist who many people consider the founder of a movement called humanistic psychology. The movement developed as a revolt against behaviorism and psychoanalysis, the two most popular psychological views of the mid- 1900’s. Humanistic psychologists believe individuals are controlled by their own values and choices and not by the environment, as behaviorists think, or by unconscious drives, as psychoanalyst believe. Maslow stressed the importance of studying well-adjusted people instead of just the disturbed ones.
Maslow’s contributions are many and diverse; perhaps his most famous is the hierarchy of needs. Beyond the details of air, water, food, and sex, he laid out five broader layers: the physiological needs, the needs for safety and security, the needs for love and belonging, the needs for esteem, and the need to actualize the self, in that order.
The physiological needs encompass specific biological requirements for water, oxygen, proteins, vitamins, proper body temperature, sleep, sex, exercise and so on. When the physiological needs are largely taken care of, the second layer of needs, the safety and security needs comes into play. We will become increasingly interested in finding safe circumstances, stability, and protection. We might develop a need for structure, for order, some limits. When physiological needs and safety needs are taken care of the third layer shows up, the love and belonging needs. We begin to feel the need for friends a companion, children and sense of community. Looked at negatively, we become increasingly susceptible to loneliness and social anxieties. In our day to day life we exhibit these needs in our desires to marry, have a family be a part of a community, a member of church, brother part of a fraternity, a part of a gang or a bowling club. It is also a part of what we look for in a career. The esteem needs. Next we begin to look for a little self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance. The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom. This is the “higher”
form because, unlike the respect of others, once we have self-respect, it is a much harder to lose.
The negative version of these needs is low self-esteem and weakness complexes. Maslow felt that Adler was onto something when he stated that these were at the roots of many, even of our psychological difficulties. In modern...