Hierarchy of Needs

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Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1908, in Brooklyn New York. He was the first of seven children and his parents were Jewish immigrants from Russia. As a child Maslow was very lonely and found refuge in reading books. His parents pushed him to succeed in life, so he first attended the City College of New York where he studied law. He transferred to Cornell University but soon returned to the City College of New York. Bertha Goodman, Maslow's first cousin, became his wife against his parent's wishes and they later had two daughters. He and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin. It was there that he became interested in psychology. He received his Bachelors in 1930, Masters in 1931, and his Doctors degree in 1934 in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation Maslow returned to New York to begin his career.

He later taught at Brooklyn College and in 1951 he became the chairman of the psychology department at Brandesis for ten years. It was at Brandesis where he became interested in self-actualization after being introduced to the idea by Kurt Goldstein.

Maslow worked with monkeys throughout his early career and it was then that he found out some needs take more precedence than others. The monkeys being both hungry and thirsty seemed to satisfy their need for thirst over their need for hunger. This caught Maslow's attention and led him to forming his famous hierarchy of needs. Maslow felt that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs and that certain lower needs must be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. According to Maslow, there are general types of needs that must be satisfied before a person can act unselfishly. These...