Maslow, Abraham H.

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Maslow, Abraham H.

[U.S. psychologist, 1908–1970]
Articulator of a theory of human motivation based on a synthesis of holistic and dynamic principles. A contemporary of Carl Rogers, Maslow is considered one of the major theorists of humanistic psychology.

Maslow's theory of human motivation

A theory stating that human existence is based on needs that arise in hierarchical order: physiological needs such as hunger; safety needs; love, affection, and belonging needs; self-respect and self-esteem needs; and self-actualization. Although the term self-actualization was coined by Kurt Goldstein in 1939, Maslow believed that the ultimate destiny of mankind was self-actualization or a tendency to become everything that one is capable of becoming. Humans' realization of themselves occurs not only by thinking but also by the realization of all instinctive and emotional capacities as they move toward optimal physical, emotional, and spiritual health, which he called transcendence.


Abraham H., U.S. psychologist, 1908-1970.
Maslow hierarchy - a ranking of needs that a human presumably fills successively in the order of lowest to highest: physiological needs, love and belonging, self-esteem, and self-actualization.
Maslow pyramid of needs
Maslow theory of human motivation