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Hierarchy Of Needs Essay

1641 words - 7 pages

Hierarchy of NeedsAbraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1908, in Brooklyn New York. He was the first of seven children and his parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. As a child Maslow was very lonely and found refuge in reading books. His parents pushed him to succeed in life, so he first attended the City College of New York where he studied law. He transferred to Cornell University but soon returned to the City College of New York. Bertha Goodman, Maslow's first cousin, became his wife against his parent's wishes and they later had two daughters. He and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin. It was there that he became interested in psychology. He received his Bachelors in 1930, Masters in 1931, and his Doctors degree in 1934 in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation Maslow returned to New York to begin his career. He later taught at Brooklyn College and in 1951 he became the chairman of the psychology department at Brandesis for ten years. It was at Brandesis where he became interested in self-actualization after being introduced to the idea by Kurt Goldstein. Maslow worked with monkeys throughout his early career and it was then that he found out some needs take more precedence than others. The monkeys being both hungry and thirsty seemed to satisfy their need for thirst over their need for hunger. This caught Maslow's attention and led him to forming his famous hierarchy of needs. Maslow felt that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs and that certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. According to Maslow, there are general types of needs that must be satisfied before a person can act unselfishly. These general needs are the physiological, safety, belongingness, and esteem needs. He called these general needs deficit needs, meaning if you don't have enough of something then you have a deficit, but if you get all you need then you feel nothing at all. When you get all you need out of these deficit needs, then they cease to be motivating. As long as people are motivated to satisfy these carvings, we are moving towards growth and self-actualization. The basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency beginning with the physiological needs.The physiological needs are biological needs that consist of oxygen, food, water, and a relatively constant body temperature among other things. These are in the basic needs for human survival. When these needs are not satisfied one may feel sickness, irritation, discomfort, or pain. Maslow believed, and research supports him, that these are in fact individual needs, and that a lack of, say vitamin C, will lead to a very specific hunger for things which have in the past provided that vitamin C needed. A person who is lacking food, safety, love, and esteem would probably hunger for food more strongly than for any of the other needs....

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