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Maslow believed that human behavior can be
explained by the individual’s tendency to seek
personal goal states.
Motivational processes are the heart of his
In Maslow's system, as one desire is satisfied ,
another surfaces to take its place.
Motives are innate and they are arranged in an
ascending order of hierarchy of priority.
Low orders must be at least somewhat satisfied
before an individual can be motivated by another
However, there are certain exceptions to this
For eg, there are people who are willing to suffer
hunger or even die rather than renounce them.
This was proposed in his paper – A Theory of
Human Motivation, in 1943.
Once physical needs are met, safety needs take
Health and well-being
Financial, job security
Safety of property against natural disasters,
calamities, wars, etc
Law & order
Certain types of neurotic adults are motivated by
the search for safety.
Need to love and be loved
Need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance
Small groups – clubs, office teams, school/college
Large groups – political parties, Sports teams,
Not being loved generates feelings of futility ,
emptiness and hostility.
Maslow divided these into 2 types: self-respect and
esteem from others.
Self respect includes things like competence,
confidence, adequacy, achievement, independence
Esteem from others include prestige , recognition,
acceptance, attention, reputation etc.
An individual needs to know that he or she is
Satisfaction of this need leads to feelings of self
confidence, self-worth, strength and capability.
If all the lower needs are satisfied , the need for self-
actualization comes to the fore.
Self-actualization is the person’s desire for self-
To reach the peak of one’s potential.
What a man can be, he must be
Intrinsic growth of what is already in a person
Growth-motivated rather than deficiency-motivated
.Rarely happens - < 1%
Acceptance of facts, spontaneous, focused on
problems outside self, without prejudice.
Maslow (1970) speculated that the average person
has his/her needs met to these levels:
• 85% - Physiological
• 70% - Safety & Security
• 50% - Love & Belongingness
• 40% - Self-Esteem
• 10% - Self-Actualization
WHY CAN’T ALL PEOPLE ACHIEVE SELF-
Many people are simply blind to their potential.
They neither know that it exists nor understand the
rewards of self-enhancement.
Actualization, on a mass basis is possible only
under “good conditions”.
The growth process demands a certain willingness
to take risks, to make mistakes, to break old habits.
CHARACTERISTICS OF SELF-ACTUALIZERS
1. Perception of reality:
The most universal characteristic of these
superior people is their unusual ability to perceive
other people correctly and efficiently, to see reality
as it is, rather than as they wish it to be. They
have a better perception of reality and more
comfortable relations with it. They do not allow
their desires and hopes to distort their
2. Acceptance of self, others, and nature:
Self-actualizers accept themselves as they are,
and are not ashamed or guilty about their human
nature, with its shortcoming, imperfections, and
weaknesses. They are also able to accept others in
the same without trying to control them or perfect
them in any way.
3. Spontaneity, Simplicity, Naturalness:
Self actualized people are spontaneous, simple,
and natural. In other words, this kind of person is
not concerned with being as others think they
should be. They are individuals who are able to do
what feels good and natural, simply because that is
how they feel. • Imperfections Self-actualizing
people are individuals who are aware of the fact
that they are not perfect, that they are as human as
the next person, and that there are constantly new
things to learn and new ways to grow.
4. Problem Centering:
They are committed to some task,duty,vocation,or
They are not ego-centered but oriented towards
problems beyond their immediate needs.
They prefer solitude and privacy.
They are viewed by “normal” people as aloof,
reserved, snobbish and cold.
The self-actualizing person is autonomous
meaning they are capable of doing things for
themselves and making decisions on their own.
They are strong enough to be independent of the
good opinion of others.
7.Continued freshness of appreciation:
Self-actualizing people have the capacity to
appreciate again and again, freshly and naively, the
basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder, and
8.Peak or mystic experiences:
They have moments of intense excitement and high
tensions as well as to those of relaxation, peacefulness,
blissfulness and stillness.
They have a genuine desire to help improve the
There is a special kind of brotherhood.
10. Interpersonal relationship:
Self-actualizing people have deep interpersonal
relationship with others.
These relationships are more likely to be with others who
are also self-actualized.
11. Democratic Character structure:
Self-actualized people are said to be democratic.
They are able to be friendly with anyone no matter
what their background ,class or beliefs are.
They believe it is possible to learn something from
12.Discrimination b/w means & ends:
Self-actualizing people have a clear sense of
distinction between right and wrong conduct and
have little conflict about basic values. They often
see as end in itself all what others usually see as
means (e.g. eating or exercising).
13.Sense of philosophical humor:
Self-actualizing people laugh but their laugh is
never at expense of others feelings.
Creativity was more prominent in self-actualizers
It maybe humble in nature and can touch virtually
all the person’s activities.
15.Resistance to enculturation:
These people are in harmony with their culture yet
maintain a certain detachment from it.
Deficit motives are also known as D-Motives.
a. Their absence produces illness.
b. Their presence prevents illness.
c. Their restoration cures illness.
d. Under certain complex free-choice conditions, they
are preferred by the deprived person over other
e. They are found to be inactive in a healthy person.
Growth motives are also known as B motives or
They are distinct goals associated with the inborn
urge to actualize one’s potential.
They do not involve the repairing of deficit states.
Unsatisfied metaneeds make an individual
The resulting illness is known as “metapathologies.”
Apathy,alienation,depression & cynicism are some
of the so-called metapathologies.