Abraham Mascot: A Humanistic Phenomenon

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Abraham Mascot: A Humanistic Phenomenon Abstract Abraham Mascot Is considered to be the father of Humanistic Psychology. Though growing up In a cruel household, he accomplished much In his lifetime. An avid advocate of “Human Motivation”, Mascot developed many theories corresponding to the subject. This article goes into detail on his theory of Hierarchy of Needs and Self- Actualization. Mascot put forth the notion of a 5-level pyramid of needs. Psychological, Safety and Security, Love and Belonging, and Esteem were considered essential “basic” needs.

These must be fulfilled before a person can reach the highest level of Self-Actualization. Mascot studied a range of historical and public figures to come to a conclusion of the characteristics of a self-actualities individual. A self- evaluation of myself concludes the essay. While evaluating yourself is never an easy task, I thought extensively on how to bring myself to a self-actualities level. I would be honored to eventually achieved the self-actualities potential, as only less than 2 percent of our population have been recorded as so. Early Life Abraham Mascot was the first-born child of Samuel and Rose Mascot.

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He was born on April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. His parents were destitute, uneducated Immigrants from Russia. Strongly religious, they strictly adhered to the Judaism denomination. Mascot was raised the sole Jewish boy in a non-Jewish neighborhood. Due to this, he grew up lonely and found contentment In books. Mascot once said “l was a little Jewish boy in a non-Jewish neighborhood. It was a little Like being the first Negro enrolled in an all-white school. I was Isolated and unhappy. I grew up In Libraries and among books, without friends” (Hall, 1968, p. 37) The home-life of

Abraham Mascot was filled with troubled times, as well. The relationship between Mascot and his father was hostile. Being uneducated himself, Samuel Mascot forced his son to be versed In areas that were of no Interest to Abraham. According to Mason’s own recollection, his father loved whiskey, women, fighting, and regarded his son as ugly and stupid (Enrich, n. D. ). Samuel frequently humiliated his son in public, causing Mascot to think of himself as disgusting. This left marks on his self- confidence. If riding the subway, he would look for an empty car, so that no one would have to see how atrocious he was.

Mascot intensely despised his mother, or love was alien to her, especially to her own family. His disgust of his mother began when she decided to place a bolt-lock on the refrigerator. She only removed the lock when she was in a pleasant mood. Mascot had a love for animals. When he was a child, he found two deserted kittens and brought them home. One evening, Rose found young Abraham feeding the kittens milk in the basement of their home. She flew into a rage and crushed the kittens’ heads against the wall. This horrific event stuck with him for the rest of his life. As an adult, Mascot eventually reconciled tit his father.

In interviews, he actually spoke positively of him on a few occasions. Nevertheless, he never desired to make peace with his mother. Throughout his life, his hatred continued to grow and he even refused to go to her funeral. Through all the heartache, he managed to have a valuable relationship with his uncle that continued the full-length of his lifetime. On December 31, 1928, Abraham Mascot married his long-time love and first cousin Bertha Goodman. The couple conceived two daughters, Ann and Ellen. Mascot later stated that the moment that he married Bertha, his life changed forever.

He regarded this as the “true beginning of his life” and they remained happily married until his death (Enrich, n. D. ). Education In 1922, Mascot attended the Boys High School in Brooklyn (Hoffman, 1988). In high school, his love for Social Science and Philosophy began to emerge. At the early age of 17, Mascot enrolled at the City College of New York (CCNY). He majored in science, focusing on a future career in humanities. While at CCNY, Mascot excelled in English and Social Sciences. Trigonometry was not his strong suit, causing him to be on academic probation in his second semester (Patella, 2012).

In 1926, Mascots father pushed him to enroll at the Brooklyn Law School (BLESS) to begin law studies. Abraham endured nightly law classes, while still attending day classes at CCNY. After two months, he dropped out, realizing that law was of no interest to him. In 1927, Mascot left CCNY for Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Due to cheaper tuition, he applied to the College of Agriculture at Cornell. He majored once again in social sciences to fulfill his dream. Mascot was disheartened by an Introductory Psychology course that he took, instructed by Edward B. Tetchier (Enrich, n. D. ). He found

Tetchiness teaching in of Structuralism and his theory of “Scientific Introspection” dull. At the end of the semester, Mascot left Cornell to return to New York and attend In 1927, Mascot was again studying Humanities and Social CCNY once again. Sciences at CCNY. In 1928, Abraham transferred to the University of Wisconsin after hearing of its exceptional professors. In 1930, he finally was awarded his Bachelor’s Degree and in 1931 he completed his Master’s. After having a hard time finding employment as a professor, he accepted the position of a Psychology Teachers Assistant at his Alma Mater.

While assisting in psychology classes, famed experimental psychologist Harry Harrow took notice of him. Mascot soon became Harrows research assistant and first doctoral student. Harrow and Mascot studied the social behavior and learning potential of primates. Influenced by his work with Harrow, Abraham instituted a study of investigating food in preferences in animals (Patella, 2012). He examined pigeons, dogs and monkeys throughout his studies and found that the higher the animal is on the epileptic scale, the more fluctuating the animal’s food preference will be. Mascot published a paper of his theory called

His paper displayed the dissimilarity between hunger and appetite, and showed that behavior cannot be understood as motivated by the gratification of survival needs (Hoffman, 1988). For his doctoral degree, Mascot continued his research of primates; focusing on their dominant behavior. Throughout his studies, he found that the higher the monkey was on the primate scale, the less brutality in dominance. The results of his studies lead him to go beyond his original dominance theory and recognize that something else stimulates behavior, particularly in higher levels of human nature (Wilson, 1972).

After achieving his PhD in 1934, Mascot accepted a fellowship at Columbia University. Working alongside the prominent Dry. Edward L. Thornier, he extended his research to dominance in humans. While they were actively working together, Thornier administered an IQ test on Mascot. Much to their surprise, he responded with a result of 195. Although Mascot originally was inspired by the work that he did with Thornier, he eventually became uninterested. Mascot was compelled to research human sexuality, which Thornier stood behind. Between 1937 and 1942, Mascot published numerous articles based on female sexuality (Enrich, n. . ). Throughout his studies, he found that dominant women are more likely to be extroverted. Although that may be true, he found that those women were allured to highly-dominant men, who were aggressive and vain. Vice versa, women who are less-dominant, tend to interested in men who are kind in nature. In 1937, Mascot accepted employment as a psychology professor located at Brooklyn College. For the next 14 years, he would teach at BC and continue his human sexuality studies. In 1951, was afforded the opportunity to become Chairman of the Psychology Department at Brandeis University.

Soon after accepting the position, he began to question the way the psychologists came to conclusions. He had his own ideas on how to understand the human mind. He would eventually call his theory “Humanistic Psychology’. He published many documents in his later life, including the notable works “Motivation and Personality’, “Toward a Psychology of Being”, and “The Further Reaches of Human Nature”. In July 1966, Mascot was elected president of the American Psychological Association. Due to his failing health, he retired from teaching and accepted a fellowship at the Student Affairs Graduate

Association. On July 8, 1970, Abraham Mascot passed away at the age of 62 after suffering a heart attack. He left behind prominent theories that are still referenced today. These theories include Mascots Hierarchy of Self Needs, Maligned Human Nature, Self-Actualization, and the Theory of Human Motivation. Hierarchy of Self Needs In his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Abraham Mascot first introduced his concept of Hierarchy of Needs. He stated that a person must full their most basic needs in a natural hierarchy while advancing to a higher, self- actualization.

His theory is most often displayed in pyramid form. The original five stages of Mascots Hierarchy are divided into basic or so-called deficient needs and growth needs. The lowest levels of the pyramid consist of a person’s deficient needs, eventually advancing to the more complex, growth needs at the top. Once these needs have been fulfilled, one may work on his or her) rise to self-actualization. Necessity for oxygen, water, food and sleep (Cherry, n. D. ). Mascot believed that “Psychological” needs consisted of your most basic, considering that a person could not live without these attributes.

Once a person’s psychological needs have been achieved, the level of “Safety and Security’ comes into play. These are the needs for structure, order, security and predictability. Once the individual has a sense of being secure, safety needs have sufficiently been met. Mascot considered the third level of needs to be less of a priority than psychological and security needs (Cherry, n. D. ). The stage known as “Love and Belonging” corresponds to the need that drives an individual to seek relationships with others. This is based on affection towards friends, family, children, and an all-around sense of community.

Satisfaction of “Belongingness” then triggers the rise of “Esteem” needs. Mascot proposed two levels of esteem needs, these being know as lower and higher stages. The lower stage pertains to the need for status, fame, recognition, attention, respect of others, appreciation, and even dominance (Before, 1998). The higher form relates to the needs for self-respect. This includes feelings of confidence, achievement, independence, and freedom. The lower stage is easier to lose, based on the fact of the characteristics relying on the respect of others. Self-Actualization What a man can be, he must be.

This need we call Self-Actualization. ” -Abraham Mascot The highest level of “Self-Actualization” needs presents itself once all “basic” needs have been satisfied. This need is fundamentally different from the former levels in the aspect of prior needs are driven by “deficiency’ (Hellishly, 1992, Pig. 41). According to Mascot, Self-Actualization pertains to “Ultimate Psychological Health” that is continually developing. This stage is also known as “Growth” needs, due to the fact that once self-actualization is reached, it cannot be lessened, only made to grow.

Mascot biographically analyzed several historical and public figures in his conceptualization of the Self-Actualization theory. Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson and Eleanor Roosevelt were included in a group of individuals that Mascot believed met the standard of Self-Actualization. In his research, he examined their biographies, their acts and personally interviewed a few contemporaries. From these sources, he developed a list of common qualities that these people possessed. 1 . Openness to Experience- They are eager to learn new ideas and skills, open to engage in new experiences, and try new things. . Accurate Perception of Reality- They tend to be truthful and are able to differentiate between genuine and dishonest. 3. Freshness of Appreciation- They are open to spontaneous feelings of awe and wonder and are more prone to peak experiences. 3. Spontaneity- They are natural, open-minded and not worried about what other people may think. 4. Creativity- They exhibit a playful attitude towards problem solving and self- expression. 5. General Attitude of Acceptance- They are not deterred by events that hey cannot change, only what is, might be or ought to be. 6.

Stability- They have little difficulty making decisions and know how to distinguish between good and bad. 7. Autonomy- They do not need other people, make decisions for themselves, prefer solitude, and have a need for privacy. 8. Empathy- They possess an affinity towards children. 9. Sincerity, Self-Disclosure and Intimacy- They have close personal friends, family and lovers and tend to drop all defenses. Mascot once stated “There are no perfect human beings” (McLeod, 2007). Studies have found that less than two percent f the population actually achieves self-actualization.

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