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Abraham Harold Maslow was born April 1, 1907 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the eldest of seven children born to his immigrant parents. While growing up, Abraham’s parents pushed their children hard toward academic success. He was very lonely as a boy, and sought refuge in his schoolwork. To please his parents, He went to study at the City College of New York. His father hoped he would study law, but he went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. While in attendance there, he met and married his cousin Bertha Goodman, and met his cheif mentor Harry Harlow. At Wisconsin, he began a study of primate dominance behavior and sexuality. He went on to further research at Columbia University, continuing similar studies. There he found a new mentor Alfred Adler, who was one of Sigmund Freud’s early followers. From 1937 to 1951, Maslow was an instructor at Brooklyn College. Here he met Ruth Benedict and Max Wertheimer, whom he admired greatly. These two were so accomplished, and such wonderful human beings in his opinion, that he began taking notes on them and their behavior. This was the beginning of his lifelong research on mental health and human potential. He wrote a great deal about the subject, borrowing from other theorist but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of needs, met needs, self-actualizing person’s, and peak experiences. Maslow became the leader of humanistic school o0f psychology that emerged in the 1950’s and 1960’s. He spent his final years in semi-retirement California, until June 8, 1970, he died of a hear attack after years of bad health. During and after his death, Maslow has been very inspirational figure in personality theories. In 1960’s, people were tired of the reductionistic, mechanistic messages of the behaviorists and physiological psychologists. They were looking for meaning and purpose in their lives...
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