Criteria for Self Actualization

What criteria did these and other self-actualizing people possess? First, they were free from psychopathologv. They were neither neurotic nor psychotic nor did they have a tendency toward psychological disturbances. This pomt is an important negative criterion because some neurotic and psychotic individuals have some tilings hi common with self-actualizing people: namely, such characteristics as a heightened sense of reality, mystical experiences, creativity, and detachment from other people. Maslow eliminated from the list of possible self-actualizing people anyone who showed clear signs of psychopathology—excepthig some psychosomatic illnesses.

Second, these self-actualizing people had progressed through the hierarchy of needs and therefore lived above the subsistence level of existence and had no ever-present tlneat to then safety. Also, they experienced love and had a well-rooted sense of self-worth. Because they had their lower level needs satisfied, self-actualizing people were better able to tolerate the frustration of these needs, even hi the face of criticism and scorn. They are capable of loving a wide variety of people but have no obligation to love everyone.

Maslow s third criterion for self-actualization was the embracing of the B-values. His self-actualizing people felt comfortable with and even demanded truth, beauty, justice, simplicity, humor, and each of the other B-values that we discuss latter.

The final criterion for reaching self-actualization was "full use and exploitation of talents, capacities, potentialities, etc." (Maslow, 1970, p. 150). In other words, his self-actualizing individuals fulfilled their needs to grow; to develop, and to increasingly become what they were capable of becoming.

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