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Abraham Maslow: Holistic-Dynamic



Alyssa I. Malonzo

Overview of Holistic-Dynamic Theory

Maslows theory had been called in various ways
Referred to his theory as holistic-dynamic theory because it assumes that the whole

person is constantly being motivated by one need or another, and that people have
the potential to grow toward psychological health (self-actualization)
o Self-actualization- highest level of development
was called third force in psychology
Accepted some tenets of behaviorism and psychoanalysis
Criticized both behaviorism and psychoanalysis
Believed that humans have higher nature than either psychoanalysis and

behaviorism would suggest

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Maslows View on Motivation

Maslows personality theory rests on several basic assumptions

regarding motivation

First: Maslow adopted a holistic approach to motivation

Second: Motivation is usually complex

Third: People are continually motivated by one need or another

Fourth: Everyone is motivated by the same basic need

Fifth: Needs can be arranged on a hierarchy

Alyssa I. Malonzo


Alyssa I. Malonzo


Alyssa I. Malonzo

Maslows hierarchy of needs states that all lower level needs must be satisfied or

relatively satisfied before higher level needs become motivators.

The five needs composing this hierarchy are conative needs
o Conative needs- motivational o striving character/nature
These conative needs, which are basic needs according to Maslow, can be arranged
on a hierarchy or staircase, with each ascending step representing a higher need but
one less basic to survival
Lower level needs have prepotency over higher level needs, they must be satisfied
first before higher level needs become activated

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Physiological Needs:

Seen at the base of the pyramid

Most basic need of any person
Includes food, shelter, clothing, water, oxygen, etc.
Differ from other needs because:

They are the ONLY NEEDS that can be completely or overly satisfied

They happen again and again, because of its recurring nature

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Safety Needs:

Goes above the physiological needs

Motivates a person when their physiological needs are met
Includes physical security, stability, dependency, protection and freedom from
threatening forces (war, terrorism, illness, fear, anxiety, etc.). The need for law
and order is also included.
Differ from physiological needs because they cannot be overly satiated, since
danger or disasters are inevitable
In societies not at war, most healthy adults satisfy their safety needs most of the
time, thus making these needs relatively unimportant

Alyssa I. Malonzo


Children are more often motivated by safety needs because they live with threats
like darkness, animals, strangers, and punishments from parents
Adults can also have this feeling of being relatively unsafe because they retain
irrational fears from childhood that cause them to act as if they were afraid of
parental punishment causing them to suffer basic anxiety
basic anxiety- feeling anxious and tense when needs are not satisfied

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Love and Belongingness Needs:

after satisfying physiological and safety needs, love and belongingness follow
it is a desire for friendship; a wish for a mate and children; the need to belong to a
family or group
Include some aspect about sex and human contact as well as the need to receive
and give love
3 categories:
need for love is satisfied: develops confidence and is not devastated when denied of love
need for love is not satisfied: incapable of giving love, devalue love and take its absence for
received love in small amounts: develop strong motivation to seek love

Alyssa I. Malonzo


Children needs love, and they satisfy this need in a straightforward and direct
Adults need love and acceptance too, but they disguise it cleverly by showing
other people aloofness or adopting cynical, cold, and calloused manner in
interpersonal relations

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Esteem Needs:

Includes self-respect, confidence, competence, and the knowledge that others

hold them in high esteem
o Maslow identified two levels of esteem needs:
Reputation perception of the prestige, recognition or fame a person has
achieved in the eyes of others
Self-Esteem- the persons own feelings of worth and confidence
- based on real competence, not on what others think or say
when this need is satisfied, it brings us to the threshold of self-actualization

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Self-actualization Needs:

Highest form of need

Include self-fulfillment, the realization of all potentials a person has, and a desire
to be creative in the full sense of the world
Should be exhibited after satisfying all the lower level needs, as Maslow originally
However, self-actualization is not always achieved even though the other four
needs (physiological, safety, love and belongingness, and esteem) have been
Accepting or not accepting B-values is the key to understanding why people achieve
self-actualization or not

Alyssa I. Malonzo


Self-actualizing people maintain feelings of self-esteem, even when rejected or

dismissed by other people
They are independent of the other lower needs

Alyssa I. Malonzo

In addition to the five conative needs, Maslow identified three more categories

Aesthetic Needs
Cognitive Needs
Neurotic Needs

Satisfaction of aesthetic and cognitive needs is consistent with psychological

health. These two, when not satisfied, leads to pathology. Neurotic needs leads to
pathology whether it is satisfied or not

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Aesthetic Need

They are not universal like conative needs

Beauty and pleasant experiences are the motivating factors

People with strong aesthetic need desire orderly and beautiful surroundings

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Cognitive Need

The desire to gain knowledge, to understand, to solve mysteries and to be curious

Knowledge is necessary to satisfy all the five conative needs, and blocking cognitive
needs becomes a threat to Maslows hierarchy of needs

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Neurotic Need

lead only to stagnation and pathology

Are nonproductive by definition

Perpetuate unhealthy style of life and have no value in striving for self-actualization

Usually reactive; acts as compensation to unsatisfied need

Alyssa I. Malonzo

General Discussion of Needs

An average human being satisfies 85% of his physiological needs, 70% for
safety, 50% for love and belongingness, 40% for esteem and 10% for selfactualization
Greater satisfaction of a lower need, greater emergence of the next level need
Needs emerge gradually
A person may be simultaneously motivated by different needs from two or
more levels

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Reversed Order of Needs

Although needs are usually satisfied in the hierarchical order, they are sometimes

For some, the drive for creativity (self-actualization) may precede over safety and

physiological needs
Reversals are usually more apparent than real, and some seemingly obvious

deviations in the order of needs are not variations at all

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Reversed Order of Needs

Understanding the unconscious motivation underlying the behavior would lead us

to recognizing that the needs are not reversed

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Unmotivated Behavior

Although all behaviors have a cause, some behaviors are not motivated

Not all determinants are motives

Some behaviors are caused by other factors, not by needs

Motivation is limited to the striving for satisfaction of a need

expressive behavior according to Maslow, is unmotivated

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Comparison between Expressive and Coping Behavior

Expressive Behavior

Coping Behavior



frequently unconscious

conscious; effortful

Has no goal; occurs naturally

Aims to satisfy a need

Usually unlearned, spontaneous, and

determined by force from within a person

Usually learned and determined by the


Alyssa I. Malonzo

Deprivation of Needs
Lack of satisfaction of any basic need would lead to some kind of pathology

Alyssa I. Malonzo

Instinctoid Nature of Needs

Maslow hypothesizes that some human needs are innately determined even if they

can be modified by learning instinctoid needs

Difference between instinctoid needs and noninstictoid needs:

Preventing a person from achieving his/her instinctoid need leads to pathology. Frustration of non-instinctoid need
does not.


Instinctoid needs are persistent and its satisfaction leads to psychological health while non-instinctoid needs are


usually temporary and its satisfaction is not prerequisite for health.

Instinctoid needs are species specific.
Instinctoid needs can be molded or altered by the environment


Alyssa I. Malonzo

Growth and Development

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

involves the individuals desire to develop his abilities to the fullest

self-actualizing individuals fulfill their needs to grow, to develop, and to

increasingly become what they are capable of being

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write if

he is ultimately to be at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must

be. This need we may call self-actualization.

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Criteria for Self-Actualization


Free from psychopathology

Neither neurotic nor psychotic
neurotic individuals have some things in common with self-actualizing people:
heightened sense of reality
mystical experiences
detachment from other people

B. Progressed through the hierarchy of needs

experienced love and has rooted sense of self-worth
better able to tolerate the frustration of lower level needs
capable of loving a wide variety of people but NO obligation to love everyone
Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Criteria for Self-Actualization

C. Acceptance of the B-values
felt comfortable with and even demanded truth, beauty, justice, simplicity, humor and other B-values

Full realization of ones potential for growth

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

being values
state of growth or being toward which self-actualizers evolve
indicators of psychological health and are opposed with deficiency needs

indicate that they are the ultimate level of needs

Maslow identified 14 B-values














Ann Nicole R. Manahan

also called B-motivation
motivation of self-actualizers which involves maximizing personal potential rather

than striving for a particular goal object

characterized by expressive rather than coping behavior
associated with the B-values
Metamotivation serves not to make up for deficits or reduce tension but rather to

enrich life and increase tension

Ann Nicole R. Manahan



reduction of tension by satisfying deficit growth tendencies; aims to enrich life

states or lacks
and increase tension
entails D-needs or deficiency needs

entails B-values or metaneeds

D-needs arise from an individuals need Metaneeds arise out of an individuals

for physiological survival or safety
drive to self-actualization and fulfill his
inherent potential

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
1. More Efficient Perception of Reality

easily detect phoniness in others

less prejudiced, unbiased

less afraid and more comfortable with unknown

have greater tolerance of ambiguity & actively seek it as well

accept doubt, uncertainty, indefiniteness and uncharted paths

philosophers, explorers and scientists

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
2. Acceptance of Self, Others, and Nature

accept themselves the way they are

accept others and have no compulsive need to instruct, inform or convert

can tolerate weaknesses, and are not threatened by the strengths of others

do not expect perfection in both themselves and others

realize that people suffer, grow old, and die

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
3. Spontaneity, Simplicity, and Naturalness

unconventional but not compulsively so

highly ethical but may appear unethical or nonconforming

live simple lives in the sense that they dont need to a complex cover in order to
deceive the world

unpretentious and not afraid or ashamed to express joy, awe, elation, sorrow and

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
4. Problem-Centering

interest in problems outside themselves


extend their frame of reference far beyond self

unconcerned with the trivial and the petty

has a realistic perception which enables them to clearly distinguish between

important and unimportant issues in life

consider solving societal problems as a life mission or a calling

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
5. The Need for Privacy

quality of detachment that allows them to be alone without being lonely

satisfied with their love and belongingness needs thats why they have
no desperate need to be surrounded by people

find enjoyment in solitude and privacy

spend little energy attempting to impress others


Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing


depend on themselves for growth even though at some time in their past they had
to have received love and security from others

Autonomy can be only achieved only through satisfactory relations with others

have confidence that allows self-actualizing people to not be disturbed by


independence gives them an inner peace and serenity

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing

Continued Freshness of Appreciation

keenly aware of their good physical health, friends and loved ones, economic
security and political freedom

have a fresh vision of everyday phenomena

have an appreciation for their possessions

retain their constant sense of good fortune and gratitude for it

have the wonderful capacity to appreciate freshly and naively, the basic goods of
life with awe, pleasure, wonder

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
8. The Peak Experience

a moment of intense ecstasy similar to a mystical experience during which the self
is transcended

quite natural and part of human makeup

see the whole universe as unified

feel passive, receptive, more desirous of listening and more capable of hearing

feel more responsible for their activities and perceptions, more active and more

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing

unmotivated, nonstriving and nonwishing

lasting effect on a persons life

most people, or almost most people, have peak experiences, or ecstasies

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing


community feeling or sense of oneness with all humanity

kind of caring attitude toward other people

identify themselves with other people

have a genuine interest in helping others

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing

Profound Interpersonal Relations

special quality of interpersonal relations that involves deep and profound feeling
for individuals

nurturant feeling towards others

close relationships are limited only to a few

tend to choose healthy people as friends, and avoid intimate personal

relationships with dependent or infantile people

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing
11. Democratic Character Structure

friendly and considerate of with other people regardless of class, color, age, gender

unaware of superficial differences among people

willing to listen and have the desire to learn from anyone

they fight against evil people and evil behavior

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing

Discrimination between Means and Ends

clear sense of right and wrong conduct and have little conflict about basic values

set their sights on ends rather than means and have an unusual ability to
distinguish between the two

experience joy in the means of doing something and not just in terms of the end

Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing

Philosophical Sense of Humor

nonhostile sense of humor

dislike for jokes that might be degrading to others

intrinsic to the situation rather than contrived; it is spontaneous rather than



Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Characteristics of Self-Actualizing


creative in their own way

have keen perception of truth, beauty and reality

15. Resistance to Enculturation

sense of detachment from their surroundings and are able to transcend a

particular culture

neither antisocial nor consciously nonconforming

autonomous, following their own standards of conduct and not blindly obeying
the rules of others
Ann Nicole R. Manahan

Love, Sex, and Self-Actualization

Self-actualizing people are capable of both giving and receiving love
No longer motivated by D-love (deficiency love)
love for the essence or Being of the other
mutually felt and shared and not motivated by a deficiency or incompleteness
within the lover
unmotivated, expressive behavior

Simply love and are loved

not harmful and it is the kind of love that allows lovers to be relaxed, open and
to be nonsecretive

Capable of a deeper level of love

Easily tolerate the absence of sex because they have no deficiency need for it
Ann Nicole R. Manahan


The deprivation of each need can lead to pathology.

For the Physiological needs , if these requirements are not met, the
human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.
- can lead to malnutrition, fatigue, obsession with sex

For the Safety needs, in its absence due to war, natural disaster,family
violence, childhood abuse, etc. - people may
(re-)experienceposttraumatic stress disorder or transgenerational trauma.
- anxiety, fear, insecurity and dread

Brittany A. Lim

For the Love and Belongingness needs deficiencies due to neglect,
shunning, ostracism, etc. can impact the individuals ability to maintain or
form emotionally significant relationships such as, friendship, intimacy
and family
- defensive, overly aggressive, or timid

For the Esteem needs- imbalances from this level results to having a low
self-esteem or aninferiority complex
- self depreciation and lack of confidence

Brittany A. Lim


For the Self-Actualization needs it is the failure to acquire the metaneeds (BValues)
Metaneeds are the being needs. Failure to satify them, thought Maslow, is
harmful just as the failure to satisfy the lower needs. Frustration of metaneeds
produces metapathology.

(B-values - wholeness, perfection, completion, justice, aliveness, richness,

simplicity, beauty, goodness, uniqueness, effortlessness, playfulness, truth, and

Metapathology feeling of unfulfillment

When people do not feel metamotivation Maslow used this term to describe
the motivation of people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive
for constant betterment.
Brittany A. Lim

Failure to satisfy B- Values


Wholeness Disintegration is the metapathology

Beauty - Vulgarity, loss of taste, restlessness, bleakness

Playfulness - Grimness, depression, loss of zest in life, paranoid humorlessness,


Truth Paranoia, mistrust, cynicism, skepticism

Justice Anger, cynicism, mistrust, lawlessness, total selfishness

Goodness Hatred, repulsion, disgust, reliance only upon self and for self

Aliveness Deadness, robotizing, loss of emotion and zest in life, experiential

Brittany A. Lim


Uniqueness Los of feeling of self and individuality

Perfection Hopelessness, and nothing to work for

Simplicity Overcomplexity, confusion, and bewilderment

Completion Incompleteness, hopelessness, and cessation of striving and


Richness Depression, uneasiness, and the loss of interest in the world

Effortlessness Fatigue, strain, clumsiness, awkwardness, and stiffness

Self-sufficiency Responsibility given to others

Brittany A. Lim

Metapathology is the thwarting of self-development related to failure to

satisfy the metaneeds. Metapathology prevents self-actualizers from

expressing, using and fulfilling their potential.
Reasons people may not become self-actualized include: poor childhoods,

lower economic conditions, inadequate education, anxieties and fears, and

theJonah Complex
Jonah Complex fear of success; fear of one's own greatness, the
evasion of one's destiny, or the avoidance of exercising one's talents.

Brittany A. Lim

Any dilemma or challenge faced by an individual may trigger reactions

related to the "Jonah Complex". These challenges may vary in degree and
intensity. Such challenges may include career changes, beginning new
stages in life, moving to new locations, interviews or auditions, and
undertaking new interpersonal commitments such asmarriage. Other
causes include:
Fear of the sense of responsibility that often attends recognizing our own
greatness, talents, potentials
Fear that an extraordinary life would be out of the ordinary, and hence
not acceptable to others
Fear of seeming arrogant, self-centered, etc.
Difficulty envisioning oneself as a prominent or authoritative figure
Maslows own life story demonstrated his Jonah Complex
Brittany A. Lim

Brittany A. Lim

also has implication to psychotherapy, workplace,

gender and education.
The aim is for the clients to embrace the B-values.
It is largly interpersonal process which helps with the achievement
of love and belongingness needs.

Self- Actualization

Maslows heirarchy of needs has become a major concept for
industrial-organization psychologists.


Both men and women have potential to achieve self-actualization.

Brittany A. Lim


The most important educational goal is for students to learn. Another

important goal is to make this newly gained knowledge and information
purposeful and meaningful to the students so that it may be retained
and useful through their lives.

The goal, according to Maslow: The self-actualization of a person, the

becoming fully human, the development of the fullest height that the
human species can stand up to or that the particular individual can
come to.
Brittany A. Lim

Critique on Maslows HolisiticDynamic Theory

By: Brittany A. Lim

The ability to generate new research a little above average
Organization- Consistent with common sense

Excellent flexibility

Falsifiability low
Guides Action highly useful
Internally consistent

In terms of language- ambiguous and inconsistent

Overall- highly consistent

Parsimonious - moderate

Brittany A. Lim

Concept of Humanity
Pessimism VS Optimism
Causality VS Teleology
Uniqueness VS Similarities

Difficult to classify on:

Determinism VS Free Choice

Conscious VS Unconscious
Biological VS Social determinants of personality

Brittany A. Lim