Abraham Harold Maslow Essay, Research Paper
Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1907 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the Eldest of seven children born to his immigrant parents. While growing up, Abraham’s parents pushed their children hard towards academic success. He was very lonely as a boy, and sought refuge in his schoolwork.
To please his parents, He went to study at the City College of New York. His father hoped he would study law, but he went to graduate school at the university of Wisconsin to study psychology. While in attendance there, he met and married his cousin Bertha Goodman, and met his chief mentor Harry Harlow. At Wisconsin , he began a study of primate dominance behavior and sexuality. He went on to further research at research at Colombia University, continuing similar studies. There he found a new mentor in Alfred Adler, who was one of Sigmund Freud’s early followers.
From 1937 to 1951, Maslow was a instructor at Brooklyn College. Here He met Ruth Benedict and Max Werthiemer, whom he admired greatly. These two were so accomplished, and such wonderful human beings in his opinion, that he began taking notes on them and their behavior. This was the beginning of his lifelong research on mental health and human potential. He wrote a great deal about the subject, borrowing from other theorist but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of 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.
He spent his final years in semi-retirement California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heat attack after years of bad health.
During and after his death, Maslow has been a very inspirational figure in personality theories. In the 1960’s , people were tired of the reductionistic , mechanistic messages of the behaviorists and physiological psychologists. They were looking for meaning and purpose in their lives, and a more mystical existence.
I personally find Maslow’s, and the humanistic school of thought extremely fascinating. I believe He was trying to encourage people to wake up to their feeling side, without being bogged down in mysticism. I think young people today are much like those of the sixties who embraced ideals like the ones found in humanistic psychology set forth by Maslow. He offered a way of seeing things scientifically, but with all the human elements still attached. His views are of a much more personal level. His theory was one of the first to say boldly that people could and should do something about their lives. I think he believed that people should take responsibility for the way they approach life.
Maslow would often ask people for their “philosophy of the future”, what would their ideal life or world be like, and get significant information as to what needs they do or do not have covered.
In my opinion, this is the most important part of Maslow’s teachings. If we would spend more time listening to what others want, instead of always telling them what they should have or do, all of our relationships would be better off. The relationships with our family, friends, and even with ourselves.