Based on the self-actualization theory, what might be the personality or character type of a famous musician like Prince?

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durbanville eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The self-actualization theory stems from Abraham Maslow's Hierachy of Needs and represents fulfillment and satisfaction present in the steps leading up to it. Maslow's Hierachy is probably the best known behaviorist theory, recognized by the triangular-shaped diagram familiar throughout the Western world.

Maslow recognized that there is a group of people who are not constantly striving because of a deficiency in their lives but "who seemed to function at this higher level of motivation."

Prince may fit into the category of a self-actualizer, having changed during the course of his career as he has come to recognize the need - as he sees it - and so correct any anomolies or discrepancies.

Many people are misled when it comes to recognizing self-actualizers as people presume that they must be totally fulfilled and satisfied. The truth is almost the opposite because self-actualizers are in a growth state which means they are constantly adapting and learning from experience unlike the other phases or stages where people are still striving and trying to change things that are deficient in their lives.

Prince has never been afraid - a typical trait of a self-actualizer. When he perceives that something needs to change, he is not consumed by self-doubt or a need to appear perfect and makes the relevant change. When he felt manipulated by Warner Bros. who were (in his opinion) misusing his name for their own good and even tried to own it, he changed his name to an obscure love symbol because "Prince" was the name he was given by his parents - not a stage name - and they therefore had no right to it.

Prince changed his religion because he underwent what he called an "epiphany" and came to a realization. Again, typically, he did not shy away but embraced the change. It is quite clear that Prince does not have inhibitions like many other people. He should not be mistaken for other personality types who constantly look for attention or  need to increase their risk thrills.  

Self-actualizers make change because they see an opportunity and not because they can cause a stir or make the news headlines. They are generally patient people and social conventions are not a consideration.