Who is Abraham Maslow?

Who is Abraham Maslow?

Abraham Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York on April 1, 1908. He was the first of seven children and his parents were non-Orthodox Jewish emigrants from Russia. To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). After three semesters, he transferred to Cornell and moved to Wisconsin so he could attend the University of Wisconsin. It was here that he became interested in psychology and his work began to improve considerably.

Here he spent time working with Harry Harlow, famous for his experiments with baby monkey resus and attachment behavior. He received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his Ph.D. in 1934, all in psychology and from the University of Wisconsin. He then began teaching full-time at Brooklyn College.

During this period of his life, He came into contact with many of the European immigrants who came to the United States, and especially to Brooklyn; people like Adler, Froom, and Horney, as well as various Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.

Maslow picked up on this idea and created his now-famous hierarchy of needs. In addition to considering the obvious water, air, food, and sex, the author expanded 5 large blocks: physiological needs, safety and reassurance needs, the need for love and belonging, the need for esteem, and the need to update oneself (self). ); in this order.

Physiological needs. These include our needs for oxygen, water, protein, salt, sugar, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins. Also included here are the need to maintain the balance of PH (becoming too acidic or basic would kill us) and temperature (36.7 ºC or close to it). Other needs included here are those aimed at staying active, sleeping, resting, eliminating waste (CO2, sweat, urine, and feces), avoiding pain, and having sex.

Security and reinsurance needs. When physiological needs are kept balanced, these needs come into play. You will begin to worry about finding issues that provide security, protection, and stability. You could even develop a need for structure, for certain limits, for order.

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The needs of love and belonging. When the physiological and security needs are completed, the third needs begin to enter the scene. We begin to have needs for friendship, a partner, children, and affective relationships in general, including the general feeling of community. On the negative side, we become overly susceptible to loneliness and social anxieties.

Esteem needs. Next, we start to worry about self-esteem. Maslow described two versions of esteem needs, one low and one high. The low is the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, and even dominance. The high encompasses needs for self-respect, including feelings such as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom. Note that this is the “high” form because, unlike respect from others, once we have self-respect, it is much harder to lose it!

Maslow calls all of these four levels above deficit needs or D-Needs. If we don’t have too much of something (eg we have a deficit), we feel the need. But if we achieve everything we need, we feel nothing! In other words, they stop being motivated. As an old Latin saying goes: “You feel nothing unless you lose it.” The author also talks about these levels in terms of homeostasis, which is the principle through which our thermostat operates in a balanced way: when it is very cold, it turns on the heating; when it’s too hot, turns off the heater


The last level is a bit different. Maslow has used a variety of terms to refer to it: growth motivation (as opposed to the motivational deficit), needs to be (or B-needs, as opposed to D-needs), and self-actualization.

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These constitute needs that do not include balance or homeostasis. Once achieved, they continue to make us feel their presence. They tend to get even more insatiable the longer you feed them! They include those continual desires to fulfill potential, to “be all that I can be.” It is a question of being the most complete; to be “self-updating”.

These people were reality-focused, which means that they can differentiate what is false or fictional from what is genuine. They were also people focused on the problem, or what is the same, people who face the problems of reality by their solutions, not as insolvable personal problems or to which they submit.

And they also had a different perception of meanings and ends. They believed that the ends do not necessarily justify the means; that the means can be ends in themselves and that the means (the trip) were often more important than the ends.
Self-actualizes also had a peculiar way of relating to others.

First, they needed privacy and were comfortable being alone. They were relatively independent of culture and environment, relying more on their own experiences and judgments. Likewise, they were resistant to enculturation, that is, they were not susceptible to social pressure; they were, in fact, mavericks in the best sense.


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