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Abraham Harold Maslow: an Autobiography

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Thorndike at Columbia University. He taught full time at Brooklyn College from 1937 to 1951. As an academician, he had the chance to come in contact with the many intellectuals in the field of psychology which includes Adler, Fromm, Horney, and a number of Freudian and Gestalt Psychologists. He became the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis from 1951 to 1969. He was 51 years old and stayed there until 1961. It is during his chairmanship at Brandeis where he met Kurt Goldstein where he got the idea of self-actualization his famous work, The Organism (1934) which was the pinnacle of his famous theory “ Maslow’ s Hierarchy of Needs. As a psychologist, Maslow was preoccupied with filling the gaps he found in the other approaches of human personality.

This can be best exemplified when he wondered about what psychology can do for the happy and healthy side of psychology because according to him, Sigmund Freud already supplied the sick half of human psychology. So he directed his works to the filling of the other half which he wanted to be the half.

Contrary to Freud’ s pessimistic and darker assessment of the human nature, Maslow provided his with optimism and uplifting nature of Man such as his theory of Self-Actualization. Although Maslow was also aware of the existence of the unconscious, he preferred to work with the conscious dimension of the human personality (Burger, 2008). During Maslow’ s last interview with Hoffman (1992), Maslow articulated his humanity and his desire for goodness to prevail by understanding human behavior and the man himself. He thought that had we understood each other better, there could been no war, no division, and no conflict.

In his studies, he wanted to prove that humans are capable of something grander than war, prejudice, and hatred. He wanted to create a system of thought that can bind mankind together. But he knew then that his ideas will only serve as a seed for future generations to build upon.

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