Abraham Maslow

Founder of Humanistic Psychology

What is he famous for?

Maslow developed the hierarchy of needs. The original five-stage model includes:

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

2) Safety needs - shelter from the elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.

3) Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, affection and love - from work group, friends, family, and 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.

How did his research affect Psychology?

Maslow's theories are still taught in schools today. However, there is now an updated version of Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Because of this we now understand the value of studying a "normal" person in contrast to someone who is mentally ill.

How did Maslow's research change our understanding of how people act and think?

We still use the hierarchy of needs. However, psychologists have adapted it to include cognitive needs, aesthetic needs, and transcendence needs.

How did the time period affect Maslow's reasearch?

While most psychologists at the time were focusing on aspects of human nature considered abnormal, he was focusing on the positive aspects of human health. He used a holistic-analytic approach, and criticized other scientists who did not.