Abraham Maslow

Kacey Jones & Rachel Nesselroad


  • Born on April 1, 1908, in Brooklyn, New York
  • Born into a Jewish family, first child of seven
  • Married his first cousin Bertha Goodman, in 1928 who was 19 and Maslow was 20
  • Went to multiple schools to study
  • 1962- Established the American Association of Humanistic Psychology
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There are 5 basic stages to Maslow's theory:

1. Biological and Physiological Needs- air, food, drink, shelter, sleep, warmth, sex

2. Safety Needs- protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear

3. Love and Belonging Needs- friendship, intimacy, affection, love from work colleagues, family, friends, romantic relationships

4. Esteem Needs- achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self respect, respect from others

5. Self Actualization Needs- realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences

Later in Maslow's research he discovered and added 3 more stages into an expanded theory:

He replaced #5 with Cognitive Needs- knowledge, meaning

6. Aesthetic Needs- appreciation, search for beauty, balance, form

The Self Actualization Needs became #7 in the pyramid

8. Transcendence Needs- helping others to achieve self actualization once that goal is reached for oneself

  • This theory was described in Maslow's paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" in 1943. Basically explaining what motivates humans unrelated to rewards or unconscious desires. He was interested in human potential and how we fulfill that potential.
  • He explained that people work to achieve their needs and once one is fulfilled the person works for the next goal and so on. People will feel a stronger longing towards the need they are reaching to achieve the longer they fail to fulfill the certain goal.
  • All lower levels are needed to be met before progressing onto the higher levels, and a person is always moving forward in these 5 stages
  • Once a person reaches the final stage; self actualization they have finally reached their full potential in life. Every person is capable of reaching the final stage, but most fail to achieve the lower level goals, therefore holding them back from their fulfillment. Less than 2% of the population can reach self actualization due to problems a person experiences throughout their life making it a struggle to achieve each stage.
  • Maslow doesn't see self actualization as perfection, but achieving personal goals.


1. Physiological Needs- Babies depend on their caregivers to receive food, water, shelter, and all different basic needs to survive. They can't provide for themselves and having a caregiver that gives them everything they need to grow is how a child reaches the next stage.

2. Safety Needs- A child also finishes this stage with care and protection from a caregiver. It would be hard for a baby to survive against all the elements and constant stability without the help of a caregiver.

3. Love and Belonging Needs- As children start to grow and communicate and are put into social situations, the only way they can achieve this stage is forming relationships with people. They meet other children through their parents, schools, daycare, etc. and being social will help them form relationships like friendships, romantic, etc.

4. Esteem Needs- Children start to form opinions regarding themselves as they grow and see others bodies and compare it to their own. Growing up with a healthy self esteem and being confident within themselves is how one can overcome this stage.

5. Self Actualization- Once a child has grown up and had multiple and varying life experiences, they can eventually reach this stage. Not everyone achieves the previous stages so they can never reach this one, depending on things that occur in their life. If each previous stage is finished they can reach this stage and do what they were meant to fulfill in life and become completely comfortable with themselves.


Rhesus Monkey Experiment:

Maslow worked with Harry Harlow on an experiment where they took infant monkeys away from their mothers 6-12 hours after birth. They replaced the mothers with surrogate mothers which were made either of heavy wire or of wood covered with soft terry cloth. Both of the mothers could provide nourishment for the infant monkeys. The infant monkeys spent most of their time with the clothed mother because it gave them a sense of security and comfort. This showed that contact comfort is very important for an infant during development. Once the mothers were both removed from the room the infant monkeys would freeze up, scream, and cry. Overall this experiment was to prove that love is vital in order to have normal childhood development. If there's no love then it can lead to psychological and emotional distress and even death.

Interesting Facts

  • Died on June 8, 1970 from a severe heart attack
  • Had 2 daughters Ann and Ellen
  • Considered a mentally unstable child
  • Oldest of seven children in his family
  • Lived in fear as a child due to the anti Semitic gangs that he faced

Works Cited


"Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Simply Psychology. N.p., 17 Sept. 2007. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Abraham Maslow." Psychology History. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Abraham Maslowhierarchy of Needs." Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of Needs Theory Psychology. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"The Experiment." The Experiment. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Abraham Maslow." Abraham Maslow. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"How Harry Harlow's Research on Love Shaped How We Treat Children to This Day." About.com Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.


"Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." Simply Psychology. N.p., 17 Sept. 2007. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"The Treblemakers." » Abraham-Maslow-Manoj-Sharma. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

"Abraham Maslow and Teaching." : Process. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.

Interesting Facts:

"10 Facts about Abraham Maslow." Fact File RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.


About. "Overview of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs." YouTube. YouTube, 09 Mar. 2012. Web. 07 Apr. 2016.