You are on page 1of 8

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943

paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" inPsychological Review.[2] Maslow subsequently extended the
idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His theories parallel many other theories
of human developmental psychology, some of which focus on describing the stages of growth in
humans. Maslow used the terms Physiological, Safety, Belongingness and Love, Esteem, SelfActualization and Self-Transcendence needs to describe the pattern that human motivations
generally move through.
Maslow studied what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams,Eleanor
Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglassrather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study
of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a
cripple philosophy. Maslow studied the healthiest 1% of the college student population.
Maslow's theory was fully expressed in his 1954 book Motivation and Personality.] While the
hierarchy remains a very popular framework in sociology research, management
training and secondary and higher psychology instruction, it has largely been supplanted
by attachment theory in graduate and clinical psychology and psychiatry.

how to self-actualized.

To become self-actualized means that you are living to your true potential. The term was coined by
Abraham Maslow back in 1954, when he wrote about the hierarchy of needs. In this hierarchy,
people have the ability to pass through different levels of growth from biological/physiological needs
at the bottom through levels of safety, belonging/love, and self-esteem to finally reaching the final
level of growth which he called self-actualization.

Maslow was particularly interested in this group and he estimated that only one in a hundred people
would ever obtain this level. People who have obtained self-actualization typically have some
common qualities, including the ability to see life more clearly and to put others needs before their
own. They also share other qualities including a well-developed or even quirky sense of humor, a
distinct need for solitude, spontaneity and high levels of acceptance of both themselves and others.
If you would like to achieve this highest level of personal development, Maslow has taught us that
there are some effective methods that will allow you to reach self-actualization:
1. Experience life fully and vividly
Maslow taught us that the process of self-actualization begins when we start to become completely
immersed in our experiences living fully, vividly and selflessly.
2. Be honest in your choices
Think of life as a series of choices, one after another. If you are being truthful with yourself as you
make your choices, then you are on the way to being self-actualized.
3. Be aware of the uniqueness of yourself
As you realize that you are unique and begin to learn how to express yourself and your feelings
truthfully, rather than reflect what you believe others want you to do or say, then you are on the right
4. Act with integrity
If you have a choice, act in a way that is honest and true to your nature. As you take responsibility for
your own actions you will be working on the way to self-actualization.
5. Be courageous
Learn to have the courage to express your likes and dislikes and to speak up if someones actions
are not pleasing to you.
6. Self-development
Becoming self-actualized is not an end-state, rather it is a process. Maslow talked about it being the
process by which you are working to do well the thing that one wants to do.
7. Peak experiences
Maslow talked a lot about peak experiences, describing them as transient moments of selfactualization. These experiences are times that you feel truly at peace and in harmony with your
environment and the universe and are marked by a feeling of euphoria and deep joy.
8. Lack of ego defenses
Learning to let go of troublesome defense mechanisms that you may use to protect yourself is a
necessary part of this process. For example, if you have a tendency to blame your partner for your
frustrations or to become angry when things do not go your way, then learning to react in a different
manner is part of becoming self-actualized.

Maslows guidelines are a useful tool, but many people have found that it can be difficult to bring so
much change to bear in their lives with just the force of will. You may find that meditation may be a
very valuable strategy to help you truly integrate Maslows ideas into your life. Learning to meditate is
useful in so many ways, not the least of which is that meditation allows you to access your
subconscious mind, gaining access to your inner wisdom. It only takes a short time to learn and
great benefits can be gained from as little as 20 minutes per day. You have within you already the
inner wisdom that will allow you to truly reach self-actualization and practicing meditation will quickly
allow you to reach this goal.

Examples of Defenses Mechanisms

There are a large number of defense mechanisms; the main ones are
summarized below.

* Projection
This involves individuals attributing their own thoughts, feeling and motives to
another person. Thoughts most commonly projected onto another are ones that
would cause guilt such as aggressive and sexual fantasies or thoughts. For
instance, you might hate someone, but your superego tells you that such hatred
is unacceptable. You can 'solve' the problem by believing that they hate you.

* Sublimation
This is similar to displacement, but takes place when we manage to displace our
emotions into a constructive rather than destructive activity. This might for
example be artistic. Many great artists and musicians have had unhappy lives
and have used the medium of art of music to express themselves. Sport is
another example of putting our emotions (e.g. aggression) into something
For example, fixation at the oral stage of development may later lead to seeking
oral pleasure as an adult through sucking ones thumb, pen or cigarette. Also,
fixation during the anal stage may cause a person to sublimate their desire to
handle faeces with an enjoyment of pottery.
Sublimation for Freud was the cornerstone of civilized life, arts and science are
all sublimated sexuality. (NB. this is a value laden concept, based on the
aspirations of a European society at the end of the 1800 century).

Sigmund freud
A defense mechanism is the act or technique of coping mechanisms that reduce anxiety generated
by threats from unacceptable or negative impulses. Defence mechanisms, which are unconscious,
are not to be confused with conscious coping strategies. Sigmund Freud was one of the first
proponents of this construct.
Defense mechanisms may result in healthy or unhealthy consequences depending on the
circumstances and frequency the mechanism is used. In Freudian psychoanalytic theory, defense
mechanisms are psychological strategies brought into play by the unconscious mind to manipulate,
deny, or distort reality in order to defend against feelings of anxiety and unacceptable impulses to
maintain one's self schema. These processes that manipulate, deny, or distort reality may include

the following: repression, or the burying of a painful feeling or thought from one's awareness even
though it may resurface in a symbolic form; identification, incorporating an object or thought into
oneself. and rationalization, the justification of one's behavior and motivations by substituting "good"
acceptable reasons for the motivations. Generally, repression is considered the basis for other
defense mechanisms.
Healthy persons normally use different defenses throughout life. An egodefence mechanism
becomes pathological only when its persistent use leads to maladaptive behaviour such that the
physical or mental health of the individual is adversely affected. The purpose of ego defence
mechanisms is to protect the mind/self/ego from anxiety and/or social sanctions and/or to provide a
refuge from a situation with which one cannot currently cope. One resource used to evaluate these
mechanisms is the Defense Style Questionnaire (DSQ-40).
Defense mechanisms are distinct from coping strategies in that the former are largely unconscious
mechanisms which are activated in times of anxiety, stress and distress without any choice or
conscious intentionality, while the latter are conscious strategies that are chosen in calm emotional
states. Coping thus involves flexibility and defenses are more rigid, distort logistics, are unstoppable
and their goal is to reduce anxiety not to solve the source of the anxiety.

Explicit memory is the conscious, intentional recollection of previous experiences and information.
People use explicit memory throughout the day, such as remembering the time of an appointment or
recollecting an event from years ago.

Explicit memory involves conscious recollection, compared with implicit memory which is an
unconscious, unintentional form of memory. Remembering a specific driving lesson is an example of
explicit memory, while improved driving skill as a result of the lesson is an example of implicit

**Intelligence encompasses a number of mental abilities such as reasoning,

planning and problem-solving. The topic of intelligence is one of the biggest and
most debated in psychology
everybody is genius but If you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree it will live its
whole life that it is stupid
-Albert Einstein.

* Extraversion is marked by pronounced engagement with the external world.

Extraverts enjoy being with people, are full of energy, and often experience positive
emotions. They tend to be enthusiastic, action-oriented, individuals who are likely to
say "Yes!" or "Let's go!" to opportunities for excitement. In groups they like to talk,
assert themselves, and draw attention to themselves.
Introverts lack the exuberance, energy, and activity levels of extraverts. They tend
to be quiet, low-key, deliberate, and disengaged from the social world. Their lack of
social involvement should not be interpreted as shyness or depression; the introvert
simply needs less stimulation than an extravert and prefers to be alone. The
independence and reserve of the introvert is sometimes mistaken as unfriendliness
or arrogance. In reality, an introvert who scores high on the agreeableness
dimension will not seek others out but will be quite pleasant when approached.
Agreeableness reflects individual differences in concern with cooperation and social
harmony. Agreeable individuals value getting along with others. They are therefore
considerate, friendly, generous, helpful, and willing to compromise their interests
with others'. Agreeable people also have an optimistic view of human nature. They
believe people are basically honest, decent, and trustworthy.
Disagreeable individuals place self-interest above getting along with others. They
are generally unconcerned with others' well-being, and therefore are unlikely to
extend themselves for other people. Sometimes their skepticism about others'
motives causes them to be suspicious, unfriendly, and uncooperative.
Agreeableness is obviously advantageous for attaining and maintaining popularity.
Agreeable people are better liked than disagreeable people. On the other hand,
agreeableness is not useful in situations that require tough or absolute objective
decisions. Disagreeable people can make excellent scientists, critics, or soldiers.
Conscientiousness concerns the way in which we control, regulate, and direct our
impulses. Impulses are not inherently bad; occasionally time constraints require a
snap decision, and acting on our first impulse can be an effective response. Also, in
times of play rather than work, acting spontaneously and impulsively can be fun.
Impulsive individuals can be seen by others as colorful, fun-to-be-with, and zany.
Nonetheless, acting on impulse can lead to trouble in a number of ways. Some
impulses are antisocial. Uncontrolled antisocial acts not only harm other members
of society, but also can result in retribution toward the perpetrator of such impulsive
acts. Another problem with impulsive acts is that they often produce immediate
rewards but undesirable, long-term consequences. Examples include excessive
socializing that leads to being fired from one's job, hurling an insult that causes the

breakup of an important relationship, or using pleasure-inducing drugs that

eventually destroy one's health.
Impulsive behavior, even when not seriously destructive, diminishes a person's
effectiveness in significant ways. Acting impulsively disallows contemplating
alternative courses of action, some of which would have been wiser than the
impulsive choice. Impulsivity also sidetracks people during projects that require
organized sequences of steps or stages. Accomplishments of an impulsive person
are therefore small, scattered, and inconsistent.
A hallmark of intelligence, what potentially separates human beings from earlier life
forms, is the ability to think about future consequences before acting on an impulse.
Intelligent activity involves contemplation of long-range goals, organizing and
planning routes to these goals, and persisting toward one's goals in the face of
short-lived impulses to the contrary. The idea that intelligence involves impulse
control is nicely captured by the term prudence, an alternative label for the
Conscientiousness domain. Prudent means both wise and cautious. Persons who
score high on the Conscientiousness scale are, in fact, perceived by others as
The benefits of high conscientiousness are obvious. Conscientious individuals avoid
trouble and achieve high levels of success through purposeful planning and
persistence. They are also positively regarded by others as intelligent and reliable.
On the negative side, they can be compulsive perfectionists and workaholics.
Furthermore, extremely conscientious individuals might be regarded as stuffy and
boring. Unconscientious people may be criticized for their unreliability, lack of
ambition, and failure to stay within the lines, but they will experience many shortlived pleasures and they will never be called stuffy.
Freud originally used the term neurosis to describe a condition marked by mental
distress, emotional suffering, and an inability to cope effectively with the normal
demands of life. He suggested that everyone shows some signs of neurosis, but that
we differ in our degree of suffering and our specific symptoms of distress. Today
neuroticism refers to the tendency to experience negative feelings.
Those who score high on Neuroticism may experience primarily one specific
negative feeling such as anxiety, anger, or depression, but are likely to experience
several of these emotions. People high in neuroticism are emotionally reactive. They
respond emotionally to events that would not affect most people, and their
reactions tend to be more intense than normal. They are more likely to interpret
ordinary situations as threatening, and minor frustrations as hopelessly difficult.
Their negative emotional reactions tend to persist for unusually long periods of
time, which means they are often in a bad mood. These problems in emotional

regulation can diminish a neurotic's ability to think clearly, make decisions, and
cope effectively with stress.
At the other end of the scale, individuals who score low in neuroticism are less
easily upset and are less emotionally reactive. They tend to be calm, emotionally
stable, and free from persistent negative feelings. Freedom from negative feelings
does not mean that low scorers experience a lot of positive feelings; frequency of
positive emotions is a component of the Extraversion domain.

*Openness to experience.
Openness to Experience describes a dimension of cognitive style that distinguishes
imaginative, creative people from down-to-earth, conventional people. Open people
are intellectually curious, appreciative of art, and sensitive to beauty. They tend to
be, compared to closed people, more aware of their feelings. They tend to think and
act in individualistic and nonconforming ways. Intellectuals typically score high on
Openness to Experience; consequently, this factor has also been called Culture or
Intellect. Nonetheless, Intellect is probably best regarded as one aspect of openness
to experience. Scores on Openness to Experience are only modestly related to years
of education and scores on standard intelligent tests.
Another characteristic of the open cognitive style is a facility for thinking in symbols
and abstractions far removed from concrete experience. Depending on the
individual's specific intellectual abilities, this symbolic cognition may take the form
of mathematical, logical, or geometric thinking, artistic and metaphorical use of
language, music composition or performance, or one of the many visual or
performing arts. People with low scores on openness to experience tend to have
narrow, common interests. They prefer the plain, straightforward, and obvious over
the complex, ambiguous, and subtle. They may regard the arts and sciences with
suspicion, regarding these endeavors as abstruse or of no practical use. Closed
people prefer familiarity over novelty; they are conservative and resistant to