Maslow: biography /
resume / curriculum vitae
was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of seven
children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish
immigrants from Russia. His parents, hoping for the best for their
children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success. Not
surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in
To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New
York (CCNY). He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his
parents wishes. Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters.
Abraham Maslow and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could
attend the University of Wisconsin. Here, he became interested in
psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent
time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments
with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.
Abraham Maslow received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD
in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year
after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at
Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.
He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College. During this period of his
life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were
immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time -- people
like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian
In 1951, Abraham Maslow served as the chair of the psychology
department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein (who
introduced him to the idea of self-actualization) and began his own
theoretical work. It was also here that he began his crusade for a
humanistic psychology -- something ultimately much more important to him
than his own theorizing.
He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June
8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.
Hierarchy of Needs model of
Each human being is
motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over
tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs helps
to explain how these needs
motivate us all.
Hierarchy of Needs - Physiological needs
These are the very basic needs such
as air, water, food, sleep, sex, etc. When these are not satisfied we may
feel sickness, irritation, pain, discomfort, etc. These feelings motivate us
to alleviate them as soon as possible to establish homeostasis. Once they
are alleviated, we may think about other things.
Hierarchy of Needs - Safety needs
These have to do with establishing
stability and consistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly
psychological in nature. We need the security of a home and family. However,
if a family is dysfunction, i.e., an abusive husband, the wife cannot move
to the next level because she is constantly concerned for her safety. Love
and belongingness have to wait until she is no longer cringing in fear. Many
in our society cry out for law and order because they do not feel safe
enough to go for a walk in their neighborhood.
Hierarchy of Needs - Love and belongingness needs
are next on the ladder. Humans have a desire to belong to groups: clubs,
work groups, religious groups, family, gangs, etc. We need to feel loved
(non-sexual) by others, to be accepted by others. Performers appreciate
applause. We need to be needed.
Hierarchy of Needs - Self-Esteem needs
There are two types of esteem
needs. First is self-esteem which results from competence or mastery of a
task. Second, there's the attention and recognition that comes from others.
This is similar to the belongingness level, however, wanting admiration has
to do with the need for power.
Hierarchy of Needs - The need for self-actualization
is "the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything
that one is capable of becoming." People who have everything can maximize
their potential. They can seek knowledge, peace, esthetic experiences,
self-fulfillment, oneness with God, etc.
of Needs model was developed between 1943-1954, and first widely published
in Motivation and Personality in 1954. At this time the Hierarchy of Needs
model comprised five needs. Maslow's most popular book is Toward a
Psychology of Being (1968), in which more layers were added. The original 5
layer-version still remains for most people the definitive Hierarchy of
Compare: Spiral Dynamics
| Herzberg Two
Factor Theory |
Theory X Theory Y | ERG Theory
| Expectancy Theory | Hofstede
What is Value Based Management?