Abraham Maslow

By Rachel Kruse and Michaela Shea

The more we learn about man’s natural tendencies, the easier it will be to tell him how to be good, how to be happy, how to be fruitful, how to respect himself, how to love, how to fulfill his highest potentialities … The thing to do seems to be to find out what one is really like inside; deep down, as a member of the human species and as a particular individual (Maslow, 1987, p. 6).

Early Life

  • Grew up in Brooklyn, New York, first of 7 children
  • He was often alone, unhappy, left out, and turned to books to make him feel more included
  • Studied law at City College of New York and married first-cousin Bertha Goodman


  • Maslow had always been very interested in psychology and had a mentor that made his interest grow
  • Earned 3 degrees in psychology from University of Wisconsin
  • Taught in this subject at Brooklyn College for 14 years

Behavioral and Social Learning Theories Category

Development of Theory

  • Influenced by exceptional people (Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer and anthropologist Ruth Benedict) and began to analyze their behavior
  • He believed that studying the 1% of the healthiest people would get the best results of overall human behavior

Hierarchy of Needs/ Theory of Needs

  • 5 level pyramid of the needs of people to develop into their full potential person
  • Physiological/basic needs
  • Safety needs
  • Belongingness and Love needs
  • Esteem needs
  • Self-Actualization needs

Education Today

  • Basic needs of development and the places where humans are
  • Where do/what age do people begin finding themselves and achieving?
  • Teachers can base lessons and their classroom around their students and the environments they are in