Life (Psychology and Mental Health)
Abraham Maslow was born the first of seven children to Jewish immigrants from Russia. Though uneducated themselves, Maslow’s parents pushed him to excel academically and encouraged him to go into law. He married his first cousin, Bertha Goodman, and they eventually had two daughters.
Maslow studied law at the City College of New York, but after three semesters transferred to Cornell University, and later to the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1930, a master’s degree in 1931, and a doctorate in 1934, all in psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Maslow worked for a time at Columbia, then served on the faculty of Brooklyn College from 1937 to 1951, and was professor and chairman of the psychology department at Brandeis University from 1951 to 1969.
Maslow was an articulate and prolific scholar; an author of more than twenty books and close to one hundred articles. His books included Motivation and Personality (1954), Toward a Psychology of Being (1962), Religions, Values, and Peak-Experiences (1964), and The Farther Reaches of Human Nature (1971). He cofounded the Journal of Humanistic Psychology and is considered a father of humanistic psychology.
His theory of a hierarchy of human needs has been particularly influential. Maslow proposed that human needs and motivations could be construed in a hierarchy, often pictured...
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Sources for Further Study (Psychology and Mental Health)
Berecz, John M. Theories of Personality: A Zonal Perspective. Boston: Allyn & Bacon, 2009. A chapter on humanistic psychology looks at Maslow and Carl R. Rogers and assesses Maslow’s contributions to personality theory.
Feist, Jess, and Gregory J. Feist. Theories of Personality. 7th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009. Explores Maslow’s theories in the context of personal experience and culture.
Hergenhahn, B. R. An Introduction to the History of Psychology. 6th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2009. A chapter in this work explores the history of humanistic psychology, founded by Maslow and contemporaries.
Hoffman, Edward. The Right to Be Human: A Biography of Abraham Maslow. Rev. ed. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1999. A revised edition of the major biographical work on Maslow.
Schultz, Duane, and Sydney Schultz. Theories of Personality. 9th ed. Belmont, Calif.: Wadsworth/ Cengage Learning, 2009. Contains a chapter on Maslow that analyzes his theories and contributions to the psychological understanding of personality.
(The entire section is 152 words.)