What are the important terms associated with Abraham Maslow—Self-actualization theory?

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abraham Maslow's created a pyramidal model as part of his theory of the Hierarchy of Needs (1943). This model presents us with basic needs that all humans need to fulfill, from the most essential that enable our basic functions, to the most sophisticated which enable us to become what Maslow coined as "fully human".

This latter, most sophisticated, need lies at the top of the pyramidal model, and it is the need for Self-Actualization. This is basically the final step of the process of humanization, and entails that all the other needs have been met. Therefore, some of the salient terms that come out of this last step of the human process include the need to express our inner skills in

  • creativity
  • morality
  • spontaneity
  • problem solving

As a result of fulfilling these intellectual and philosophical needs, we come to the ultimate realization of the "self" and it results in other salient terms such as:

  • personal growth
  • community with others
  • personal connections
  • embracing and accepting
  • self-awareness

The pyramid of five stages of need from the top of the pyramid down to the first and primary survival needs are:

  • Self-Actualization [higher order] needs
  • Esteem [self-respect and dignity] needs
  • Belongingness and Love [family and community] needs
  • Safety [protection] needs
  • Biological and Physiological [survival] needs.

These are Maslow's five original stages in the Hierarchy of Needs though there have been a number of adaptations to the stages made by other psychologists over the years.

Jessica Pope eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Abraham Maslow's developmental model of human psychology emphasizes the various physiological and psychological needs a human tries to get met throughout a lifetime. His categories have become important conceptual buzzwords in the fields of self-help, education, and clinical psychology. The term "self-actualization" was popularized Maslow and refers to the need for achievement, self-improvement, and beauty. The term "safety needs" refers to humans' basic need to feel physically and emotionally secure. Maslow expanded the language of psychology such that the term "safety" came to be associated with emotional security rather than physical security only. 

karnishekhawat | Student

Maslow categorized the needs of a human being in a hirerchical order according to him the first preference of any human being is to satisfy the physical needs like food,house,clothing etc. Above these needs a human look for security then social status,love and other relationships.Then he looks to work in such enviornment that can give him the desired growth and satisfaction and above all this there is self actualization.