Describe and evaluate one theory from the Humanistic Perspective

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  1. Describe one theory from the Humanistic Perspective

One of the founders of the Humanistic Perspective and one whose theories and views are still widely circulated even today is Maslow. Maslow is famous for his theory of hierarchy of needs where he describes the basic needs for human being in order to feel satisfied.

Maslow’s theory states that in order for human to function fully and develop their character, they need to have various needs fulfilled. However there are needs that are more important, other needs may be essential for a human being to survive; therefore Maslow came up with a pyramid-shaped hierarchy of needs that describes the human needs through various levels and stages of life. The lowest base in the pyramid is occupied by physiological needs such as food, water, and air (Things that Maslow found essential for a human being to survive). The physiological needs were followed by safety needs. Maslow argued that living in a safe environment and having a routine that is followed every day gives a feel of security to people, the effect is that people perform better and feel secure. The next stage in the pyramid is associated with Love, belongingness, and other social matters. Maslow emphasised people’s need for belonging to a group that shares their value and experience, this group varies between friends and family to even social and religious groups. Love is also important in Maslow’s theory and is highly associated with belonging. The need for Esteem and better self-acceptance are the next stage in the pyramid where the person has to reach prestigious works and receive attention and appraisal from others. And the last and highest need that a human being can reach is Self-actualisation. In Maslow’s theory, Self-actualisation is the highest form of accomplishment in life, only a certain limited percentage of population could reach to this point of the pyramid. Self-actualisation is the need for growth and prominence. According to Maslow this last need is extensible since the desire to grow and develop is present throughout all the time, and people can never have enough from growing. He also emphasised the occurring of “peak experiences” in a person’s life in order to come closer to Self-actualisation. Peak experience are an event that thrills the persons so much that he loses the feeling about the place and time and is trapped in that position for a longer time. According to Maslow the experiencing of a peak experience was essential in order to reach self-actualisation.

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Maslow argued that there is a growth motive in the people that drives them to fulfil the needs that are described above. Maslow based his theory on the fact that all people have an innate good will and that all people are born good and strive to do good things in life both for themselves and for each other. Furthermore, he explained that according to his pyramid, all needs in a previous base have to be fulfilled in order to advance to the next stage. If a need in a lower bases is missing then the person cannot feel the ...

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