PSYCHOLOGY OF ASPIRATION (Maslow) How Should I Pursue My Lifetime Goals? PSYCHOLOGY “The Study of Human Behavior” • PSYCHE - Self, Soul, Mind • LOGOS - Word, Reason “ology”: theory of, study of, science of Three contemporary psychologists/philosophers provide helpful understandings: • Abraham Maslow • Mihaly Csikszentmihayli • John Rawls MASLOW’S THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION “Human beings are motivated by a number of basic needs which are species wide, apparently unchanging, and genetic or instinctual in origin. They are intrinsic aspects of human nature.” Abraham Maslow THE NEEDS HIERARCHY The human needs are arranged in a hierarchy, while not a strict one. Needs in the lower levels of the hierarchy generally must be satisfied before other needs emerge as needs. PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS* • Air • Water • Food • Shelter • Sleep • Sex *These needs are most basic and most powerful, as they are the needs we have for human survival. SAFETY NEEDS We need the security of a consistent, predictable, stable, and fair environment; both physically and psychologically SOCIAL NEEDS • Acceptance • Belongingness • Affection • Love “A person will hunger for affectionate relations with people in general, for a place in a group, and will strive with great intensity to achieve this goal.” “The need for love characterizes every human being born. No psychological health is possible unless a the inner nature of a person is accepted, loved and respected by others.” Abraham Maslow “Unless you love someone, nothing else makes any sense.” e. e. cummings American poet EGO NEEDS • Self-confidence • Self-esteem • Self-respect This internalized validation of ones self comes from the acceptance, recognition, esteem and respect of others. And, the qualities are most stable when it is recognized that the external validation is deserved. SELF ACTUALIZATION NEED • Self-Fulfillment • Self-Realization • Self-Development • Creativity “What a man can be, he must be….to become more and more what one is; to become everything one is capable of becoming.” “Be all you can be.” Abraham Maslow NEEDS AS LIFETIME GOALS • • • • Physiologic Needs - Health Safety and Security Love and Be Loved Self-Esteem and Esteemed by Others • Realization of Full Potential as Human Being ABRAHAM MASLOW’S HIERARCHY OF NEEDS Self Actualization Truth Goodness Beauty Aliveness Individuality Perfection Necessity Completion Justice Order Simplicity Richness Playfulness Effortlessness Self Sufficiency Meaningfulness Self Esteem Esteem by Others Loving & Belongingness Safety and Security Physiological Air, Water Food, Shelter, Sleep, Sex The External Environment Preconditions for need satisfaction Freedom, Justice, Orderliness Challenge (Stimulation) *Growth needs are all of equal importance (not hierarchical) BEING NEEDS (Metamotivation) • • • • • • • • • • Wholeness: Integration, Centeredness Completion: Fulfillment, Finality Justice: Fairness, Lawfulness Simplicity: Structure, Essentiality Beauty: Rightness, Form Goodness: Oughtness, Rightness Uniqueness: Individuality, Novelty Playfulness: Fun, Joy Truth: Reality, Essentiality Self-Sufficiency: Autonomy, Independence It is important to remember that while Maslow creates a hierarchy of needs, he argues against interpreting it too narrowly or precisely. That is, security does not emerge until the need for food is entirely satisfied, or that the need for love does not emerge until the need for safety is fully satisfied. Most people have partially satisfied most of their basic needs, but still have some unsatisfied basic needs remaining AN EXISTENTIALIST PERSPECTIVE • The philosopher Ralph Ellis has written a book entitled, Eros in a Narcissistic Society, in which he suggests that romantic love is an essential ingredient in defining meaning for our existence and therefore critically important in a life of happiness. • He begins by suggesting that the most prevalent dysfunction of the modern psyche is the dysfunction associated with understanding romantic love—which he calls eros. FINITUDE • He understands the major dysfunction of life to be the existential anxiety associated with finitude, which he defines as the inevitable problems of life: alienation, relative powerlessness, relative insignificance, and death. • He suggests that eros, romantic love, is the only means of overcoming such and gaining a sense of meaning for one’s life. EROS • While I have some degree of sympathy for Dr. Ellis’s view, it should be noted that the word eros is typically defined differently by other philosophers. • It is generally understood as the passionate drive (life force) to live life to the fullest; the drive toward self-actualization; the love of truth, goodness, and beauty. • Ironically, inappropriately, and unfortunately, the word is used colloquially to specifically reference sexual passion. NEED VERSUS DESIRE • Ellis makes a distinction that Maslow does not—that of need versus desire. • Needs for Ellis are those things that reduce a humans physiological requirements as a human being—reduce their drives for food, drink, sleep, sex. Those things required to keep one alive and to bring about a state of rest to the drive. • But he says we also want to continue to exist with a certain degree of intensity, change, transformation, adventure and ‘aliveness.’ The nature of human consciousness is to seek change and transformation; therefore consciousness cannot continue to exist by being what it is. We must continually seek transformation. Those aspects of existence that expand and transform our consciousness are drives. These would seemingly correlate with Maslow’s “psychological needs,” or his “growth needs.” • Romantic love, eros, is, for Ellis, the quintessential drive. Discussion Questions • • • • • • • • • Maslow’s theory affirms that human needs are the same throughout the species; the same regardless of the cultural context. Do you agree? Why or why not? Maslow uses the terms “need” and “desire” interchangeably. Are they the same, or would you draw distinctions between them? Maslow affirms Carl Rogers’ definition of love: “that of being deeply understood and deeply accepted.” What is your view of this definition? The chapter on Maslow’s theory quotes the note psychiatrist, Karl Menninger, “love is impaired less by the feeling that we are not appreciated than by a dread, more or less felt by everyone, less others see through our masks, the masks of repression than have been forced on us by convention and culture. It is this that leads us to shun intimacy, to maintain relationships on a superficial level, to understand and fail to appreciate others lest they came to appreciate us too well.”. In your judgment, is this true? How does Maslow explain the failure of so many to actualisze (fulfill) their full potential? Does his explanation seem reasonable? Is it Maslow’s view that each of the “lower” order needs must be satisfied before “higher” order ones can be met? Explain. What role does the environment or social conditions in society play in Maslow’s theory of motivation? Maslow distinguishes between basic or deficiency needs and growth needs. What is the distinction? Does Maslow’s theory have any relevance to the health of the public?