Self Actualization Needs

When lower level needs are satisfied people proceed more or less automatically to the next level. However, once esteem needs are met, they do not always move to the level of self-actualization. Originally, Maslow (1950) assumed that self-actualization needs become potent whenever esteem needs have been met. However, during the 1960s, he realized that many of the young students at Brandeis and other campuses around the country had all then lower needs gratified including reputation and self-esteem, and yet they did not become self-actualizing (Frick, 1982; Hoffman, 1988; Maslow, 1971). Why some people step over the threshold from esteem to self-

actualization and others do not is a matter of whether or not they embrace the B-values (B-values will be discussed in the section titled Self-Actualization). People who highly respect such values as truth, beauty, justice, and the other B-values become self-actualizing after then esteem needs are met, whereas people who do not embrace these values are frustrated in their self-actualization needs even though they have satisfied each of their other basic needs.

Self-actualization

Although not necessarily artistic, self-actualizers are creative in their needs include Self-own ways. fulfillment, the realization of all ones potential, and a desire to become creative in the full sense of the word (Maslow, 1970). People who have reached the level of self-actualization become fully human, satisfying needs that others merely glimpse or never view at all. They are natural hi the same sense that animals and infants are natural; that is, they express then basic human needs and do not allow them to be suppressed by culture.

Self-actualizing people maintain then feelings of self-esteem even when scorned rejected and dismissed by other people. In other words, self-actualizers are not dependent on the satisfaction of either love or esteem needs; they become independent from the lower level needs that gave them birth. (We present a more complete sketch of self-actualizing people in the section titled Self-Actualization).

In addition to these five conative needs, Maslow identified three other categories of needs—aesthetic, cognitive, and neurotic. The satisfaction of aesthetic and cognitive needs is consistent with psychological health, whereas the deprivation of these two needs results hi pathology. Neurotic needs, however, lead to pathology whether or not they are satisfied.

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