Abraham Maslow (Encyclopedia of Psychology)
A central figure in humanistic psychology and in the human potential movement, Abraham Maslow is known especially for his theory of motivation. He was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, and received his Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Wisconsin in 1934. Maslow then began medical studies, which he discontinued within a year, after which he was offered a postdoctoral research fellowship to work with Edward Thorndike at Columbia University. After moving to New York, Maslow met many prominent European psychologists
and social scientists who had fled Nazi Germany. Several of these emigrés became his mentors, including psychoanalysts Alfred Adler, Erich Fromm, and Karen Horney and Gestalt psychologists Max Wertheimer (1880-1943) and Kurt Koffka (1886-1941). In 1937 Maslow began teaching at the newly opened Brooklyn College. At the urging of anthropologist Ruth Benedict (1887-1948), whom Maslow had met at Columbia, he spent the summer of 1938 doing field work on a Blackfoot Indian reservation in Alberta, Canada, with financial support from the Social...
(The entire section is 725 words.)
Want to Read More?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus get complete access to 30,000+ study guides!
Maslow, Abraham H (Psychologists and Their Theories)
AMERICAN PSYCHOLOGIST, AUTHOR
UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN, PhD, 1934
Abraham Maslow is one of the founding fathers of humanistic psychology, an approach to understanding behavior that developed in the middle part of the twentieth century. The humanistic approach is sometimes referred to as the "third force" in psychology, because it developed after both the psychoanalytic and behaviorist approaches were well established.
Maslow was an academic who spent most of his professional career teaching, conducting research, and developing his theories of behavior. Although he wrote an important text on abnormal psychology and provided informal counseling to some of his students, he never thought of himself as a psychotherapist, unlike many of the other contributors to the field of personality. He was much more focused on understanding healthy behavior than he was on treating mental disorders.
Maslow's theory centers on the role of motivation in personality. He was interested in explaining why people do the things that they dohe causes of their behavior. Drawing on research and theory from experimental psychology, anthropology, psychoanalysis, and other fields, Maslow's theory integrates a number of ideas...
(The entire section is 16035 words.)