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Maslow Learning Theory



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Maslow's theory of Humanistic learning

Yet, starting with the first publication of his theory in , Maslow described human needs as being relatively fluid—with many needs being present in a person simultaneously. The hierarchy of human needs model suggests that human needs will only be fulfilled one level at a time. According to Maslow's theory, when a human being ascends the levels of the hierarchy having fulfilled the needs in the hierarchy, one may eventually achieve self-actualization. Late in life, Maslow came to conclude that self-actualization was not an automatic outcome of satisfying the other human needs [42] [43].

The first four levels are known as Deficit needs or D-needs. This means that if you do not have enough of one of those four needs, you will have the feeling that you need to get it. But when you do get them, then you feel content. These needs alone are not motivating. Maslow wrote that there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the basic needs to be satisfied.

For example, freedom of speech, freedom to express oneself, and freedom to seek new information [46] are a few of the prerequisites. Any blockages of these freedoms could prevent the satisfaction of the basic needs. Maslow's Hierarchy is used in higher education for advising students and student retention [47] as well as a key concept in student development. Maslow defined Self-actualization as achieving the fullest use of one's talents and interests—the need "to become everything that one is capable of becoming. He realized that all self-actualizing individuals he studied had similar personality traits.

All were "reality centered," able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also "problem centered," meaning that they treated life's difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships. Self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions. Maslow noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted themselves, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people.

These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on "potentialities and inner resources". Maslow based his theory partially on his own assumptions about human potential and partially on his case studies of historical figures whom he believed to be self-actualized, including Albert Einstein and Henry David Thoreau. Together, these define the human experience. To the extent a person finds cooperative social fulfillment, he establishes meaningful relationships with other people and the larger world. In other words, he establishes meaningful connections to an external reality—an essential component of self-actualization.

In contrast, to the extent that vital needs find selfish and competitive fulfillment, a person acquires hostile emotions and limited external relationships—his awareness remains internal and limited. Maslow used the term metamotivation to describe self-actualized people who are driven by innate forces beyond their basic needs, so that they may explore and reach their full human potential. It is noted that metamotivation may also be connected to what Maslow called B- being creativity, which is a creativity that comes from being motivated by a higher stage of growth.

Another type of creativity that was described by Maslow is known as D- deficiency creativity, which suggests that creativity results from an individual's need to fill a gap that is left by an unsatisfied primary need or the need for assurance and acceptance. Maslow based his study on the writings of other psychologists, Albert Einstein , and people he knew who [he felt] clearly met the standard of self-actualization. Maslow used Einstein's writings and accomplishments to exemplify the characteristics of the self-actualized person. Ruth Benedict and Max Wertheimer work was also very influential to Maslow's models of self-actualization. First, it could be argued that biographical analysis as a method is extremely subjective as it is based entirely on the opinion of the researcher.

Personal opinion is always prone to bias, which reduces the validity of any data obtained. Therefore, Maslow's operational definition of Self-actualization must not be uncritically accepted as scientific fact. Maslow had concluded that humanistic psychology was incapable of explaining all aspects of human experience. He identified various mystical, ecstatic, or spiritual states known as " peak experiences " as experiences beyond self-actualization. Maslow called these experiences "a fourth force in psychology", which he named transpersonal psychology.

In Maslow published a collection of papers on this theme, which developed into his book Toward a Psychology of Being. While he rejected organized religion and its beliefs, he wrote extensively on the human being's need for the sacred and spoke of God in more philosophical terms, as beauty, truth and goodness, or as a force or a principle. Awareness of transpersonal psychology became widespread within psychology, and the Journal of Transpersonal Psychology was founded in , a year after Abraham Maslow became the president of the American Psychological Association.

In the United States, transpersonal psychology encouraged recognition for non-western psychologies, philosophies, and religions, and promoted understanding of "higher states of consciousness", for instance through intense meditation. Maslow called his work positive psychology. This movement focuses only on a higher human nature. Not only that Maslow offered a psychological reading of Kuhn's categories of "normal" and "revolutionary" science as an aftermath of Kuhn's Structure , but he also offered a strikingly similar dichotomous structure of science 16 years before the first edition of Structure , in his nowadays little known paper "Means-Centering Versus Problem-Centering in Science" published in the journal Philosophy of Science.

Abraham Maslow is also known for Maslow's hammer , popularly phrased as " if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail " from his book The Psychology of Science , published in Maslow's ideas have been criticized for their lack of scientific rigor. He was criticized as too soft scientifically by American empiricists. From the perspective of many cultural psychologists, this concept is considered relative to each culture and society and cannot be universally applied.

In particular, while they found—clearly in accordance with Maslow—that people tend to achieve basic and safety needs before other needs, as well as that other "higher needs" tend to be fulfilled in a certain order, the order in which they are fulfilled apparently does not strongly influence their subjective well-being SWB. As put by the authors of the study, humans thus. This might be why people in impoverished nations, with only modest control over whether their basic needs are fulfilled, can nevertheless find a measure of well-being through social relationships and other psychological needs over which they have more control. Maslow, however, would not be surprised by these findings, since he clearly and repeatedly emphasized that the need hierarchy is not a rigid fixed order as it is often presented:.

We have spoken so far as if this hierarchy were a fixed order, but actually it is not nearly so rigid as we may have implied. It is true that most of the people with whom we have worked have seemed to have these basic needs in about the order that has been indicated. However, there have been a number of exceptions. Maslow also regarded that the relationship between different human needs and behaviour, being in fact often motivated simultaneously by multiple needs, is not a one-to-one correspondence, i.

Maslow's concept of self-actualizing people was united with Piaget's developmental theory to the process of initiation in The theory itself is crucial to the humanistic branch of psychology and yet it is widely misunderstood. The concept behind self-actualization is widely misunderstood and subject to frequent scrutiny. Maslow was criticized for noting too many exceptions to his theory. As he acknowledged these exceptions, he did not do much to account for them.

Shortly prior to his death, one problem he tried to resolve was that there are people who have satisfied their deficiency needs but still do not become self-actualized. He never resolved this inconsistency within his theory. Later in life, Maslow was concerned with questions such as, "Why don't more people self-actualize if their basic needs are met? How can we humanistically understand the problem of evil?

Maslow attended the Association for Humanistic Psychology's founding meeting in where he declined nomination as its president, arguing that the new organization should develop an intellectual movement without a leader which resulted in useful strategy during the field's early years. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This is the latest accepted revision , reviewed on 26 September American psychologist.

Menlo Park , California , U. Bertha Goodman Maslow. Main article: Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Psychology portal. Act of Will. New York: Synthesis Center Press, The New York Times. June 10, Retrieved He was 62 years old. Review of General Psychology. CiteSeerX S2CID Archived from the original on History of Psychology. ProQuest Journal of Humanistic Psychology. Thoreau: Walden and other writings. New York: Bantam Books. Find a Grave. Retrieved November 30, Some examples of small social connections include family members, intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, and confidants. Humans need to love and be loved — both sexually and non-sexually — by others.

This need is especially strong in childhood and it can override the need for safety as witnessed in children who cling to abusive parents. Deficiencies due to hospitalism , neglect , shunning , ostracism , etc. This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs, depending on the strength of the peer pressure. In contrast, for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for belonging; and for others, the need for creative fulfillment may supersede even the most basic needs. Most people have a need for a stable esteem, meaning which is soundly based on real capacity or achievement.

Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs. The "lower" version of esteem is the need for respect from others, and may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The "higher" version of esteem is the need for self-respect, and can include a need for strength, competence, [4] mastery, self-confidence , independence, and freedom. This "higher" version takes guidelines, the "hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated". After esteem needs, cognitive needs come next in the hierarchy of needs. People have cognitive needs such as creativity, foresight, curiosity, and meaning. Individuals who enjoy activities that require deliberation and brainstorming have a greater need for cognition.

Individuals who are unmotivated to participate in the activity, on the other hand, have a low demand for cognitive abilities. According to Maslow's theories, in order to progress toward Self-Actualization, humans require beautiful imagery or novel and aesthetically pleasing experiences. Humans must immerse themselves in nature's splendor while paying close attention to and observing their surroundings in order to extract the world's beauty. This higher level need to connect with nature results in an endearing sense of intimacy with nature and all that is endearing. This level of need refers to the realization of one's full potential.

Maslow describes this as the desire to accomplish everything that one can, to become the most that one can be. Self-actualization can be described as a value-based system when discussing its role in motivation. Self-actualization is understood as the goal or explicit motive, and the previous stages in Maslow's hierarchy fall in line to become the step-by-step process by which self-actualization is achievable; an explicit motive is the objective of a reward-based system that is used to intrinsically drive completion of certain values or goals. Self-actualization needs include: [4]. Maslow later subdivided the triangle's top to include self-transcendence, also known as spiritual needs.

Spiritual needs differ from other types of needs in that they can be met on multiple levels. When this need is met, it produces feelings of integrity and raises things to a higher plane of existence. He equated this with the desire to reach the infinite. Although recent research appears to validate the existence of universal human needs, the hierarchy proposed by Maslow is called into question. As Uriel Abulof argues, "The continued resonance of Maslow's theory in popular imagination, however unscientific it may seem, is possibly the single most telling evidence of its significance: it explains human nature as something that most humans immediately recognize in themselves and others. Maslow studied what he called the master race of people such as Albert Einstein , Jane Addams , Eleanor Roosevelt , and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy.

In their extensive review of research based on Maslow's hierarchy, Wahba and Bridwell found little evidence for the ranking of needs that Maslow described or for the existence of a definite hierarchy at all. The order in which the hierarchy is arranged has been criticized as being ethnocentric by Geert Hofstede. The needs and drives of those in individualistic societies tend to be more self-centered than those in collectivist societies, focusing on improvement of the self, with self-actualization being the apex of self-improvement. In collectivist societies, the needs of acceptance and community will outweigh the needs for freedom and individuality.

The position and value of sex on the pyramid has also been a source of criticism regarding Maslow's hierarchy. Maslow's hierarchy places sex in the needs category above along with food and breathing; it lists sex solely from an individualistic perspective. For example, sex is placed with other physiological needs which must be satisfied before a person considers "higher" levels of motivation. Some critics feel this placement of sex neglects the emotional, familial, and evolutionary implications of sex within the community, although others point out that this is true of all of the basic needs.

This is self-evident in children and even adults can choose to go their entire life without it yet still can obtain higher needs. The same cannot be said for the other listed needs. In one study, [34] exploratory factor analysis EFA of a thirteen-item scale showed there were two particularly important levels of needs in the US during the peacetime of to survival physiological and safety and psychological love, self-esteem, and self-actualization. In , a retrospective peacetime measure was established and collected during the Persian Gulf War and US citizens were asked to recall the importance of needs from the previous year.

Once again, only two levels of needs were identified; therefore, people have the ability and competence to recall and estimate the importance of needs. For citizens in the Middle East Egypt and Saudi Arabia , three levels of needs regarding importance and satisfaction surfaced during the retrospective peacetime. These three levels were completely different from those of the US citizens. Changes regarding the importance and satisfaction of needs from the retrospective peacetime to the wartime due to stress varied significantly across cultures the US vs. For the US citizens, there was only one level of needs since all needs were considered equally important. With regards to satisfaction of needs during the war, in the US there were three levels: physiological needs, safety needs, and psychological needs social, self-esteem, and self-actualization.

During the war, the satisfaction of physiological needs and safety needs were separated into two independent needs while during peacetime, they were combined as one. For the people of the Middle East, the satisfaction of needs changed from three levels to two during wartime. A study looked at how Maslow's hierarchy might vary across age groups. The researchers found that children had higher physical need scores than the other groups, the love need emerged from childhood to young adulthood, the esteem need was highest among the adolescent group, young adults had the highest self-actualization level, and old age had the highest level of security, it was needed across all levels comparably. The authors argued that this suggested Maslow's hierarchy may be limited as a theory for developmental sequence since the sequence of the love need and the self-esteem need should be reversed according to age.

Abulof argues that while Maslow stresses that "motivation theory must be anthropocentric rather than animalcentric," he posits a largely animalistic hierarchy, crowned with a human edge: "Man's higher nature rests upon man's lower nature, needing it as a foundation and collapsing without this foundation… Our godlike qualities rest upon and need our animal qualities. The first four of Maslow's classical five rungs feature nothing exceptionally human. After all, the latter, according to Maslow, constitutes "an inner, more biological, more instinctoid core of human nature," thus "the search for one's own intrinsic, authentic values" checks the human freedom of choice: "A musician must make music," so freedom is limited to merely the choice of instrument.

Importantly, this need encompasses both feeling loved and feeling love towards others. For example, having social connections is related to better physical health and, conversely, feeling isolated i. Our esteem needs involve the desire to feel good about ourselves. According to Maslow, esteem needs include two components. The first involves feeling self-confidence and feeling good about oneself. The second component involves feeling valued by others; that is, feeling that our achievements and contributions have been recognized by other people. Self-actualization refers to feeling fulfilled, or feeling that we are living up to our potential.

One unique feature of self-actualization is that it looks different for everyone. For one person, self-actualization might involve helping others; for another person, it might involve achievements in an artistic or creative field. Essentially, self-actualization means feeling that we are doing what we believe we are meant to do. According to Maslow, achieving self-actualization is relatively rare , and his examples of famous self-actualized individuals include Abraham Lincoln , Albert Einstein , and Mother Teresa. Maslow postulated that there were several prerequisites to meeting these needs.

In addition to these needs, Maslow also believed that we have a need to learn new information and to better understand the world around us. This is partially because learning more about our environment helps us meet our other needs; for example, learning more about the world can help us feel safer, and developing a better understanding of a topic one is passionate about can contribute to self-actualization. However, Maslow also believed that this call to understand the world around us is an innate need as well. Although Maslow presented his needs in a hierarchy, he also acknowledged that meeting each need is not an all-or-nothing phenomenon.

Maslow suggests that, at any given time, most people tend to have each of their needs partly met—and that needs lower on the hierarchy are typically the ones that people have made the most progress towards. Additionally, Maslow pointed out that one behavior might meet two or more needs. For example, sharing a meal with someone meets the physiological need for food, but it might also meet the need of belonging. Similarly, working as a paid caregiver would provide someone with income which allows them to pay for food and shelter , but can also provide them a sense of social connection and fulfillment.

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