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Paper Topic:

Indentify strengths and weaknesses in Maslow's concept of self-actualization and

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Indentify strengths and weaknesses in Maslow 's concept of self-actualization

Although Maslow did not originate the term or concept of self-actualization , interest in this field derives largely from his work . A reassessment of Maslow 's contribution is long overdue . Maslow died in 1970 , yet many of his writings are still in print and are widely read , not only by psychologists and students , but by educationalists managers , nurses , social workers , counsellors and broad sections of the general public . Furthermore , Maslow 's "Third Force " humanistic psychology

has been extremely influential in the development of psychological thought and practice

However , the popularity and influence of Maslow 's work are not always matched by a clear appreciation of his ideas . He is often misunderstood and misquoted , and several of his most important concepts are largely ignored , while the simple "hierarchy of needs " model is , perhaps , given undue prominence . This is unfortunate , because Maslow 's writings contain important insights into issues and controversies that are of continuing interest in psychology

A clear understanding of the concept of self-actualization is of personal and practical as well as academic importance . Recognizing the role of social scientists as creators of active myths , Phillips , Watkins and Noll (1974 ) point out that self-actualization theory "not only identifies individuals as mentally healthy , fully human , etc , but also creates a rationale or personal philosophy for achieving the state or process of what is described (p . 61 . In other words , many people are going to orientate their lives in terms of psychologists ' conceptions of self-actualization . This is already evident (since the 1970s especially in the United States , where the "human potential movement has become something of a cult . For this reason , if for no other , it is vital either that theories of self-actualization can be shown to be valid , or else that the assumptions underlying them are clearly delineated and made explicit . The purpose of this paper is to investigate critically Maslow 's researches into self-actualization identify strength and weaknesses in Maslow 's concept of self-actualization

It was from Horney , Goldstein and Benedict , respectively , that Maslow acquired the key terms real self , self-actualization , and synergy Maslow (1967a ,

. 156 ) describes his own approach to research as one of "determined naivete " in which the importance of clear conceptual formulations is denied on the grounds that differences in theory are immaterial as long as they "do not obscure or deny the facts (Maslow 1966 ,

. 109 . Perhaps for this reason , Maslow was never particularly systematic in his theorizing . More crucially , however , Maslow 's enduring willingness to learn from others combined with this "naive " approach to produce a very extended period of intellectual gestation and theory formation . As a consequence , Maslow 's ideas show a marked and interesting development . The theory of 1945 is quite different from that of 1972 . For these reasons , any attempt to present a unified account of Maslow 's theory of self-actualization is destined to fail

At first Maslow introduced the concept of self-actualization not as...

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