Running head: PERSONALITY THEORY Personality Theory Paper Bonnie Garcia University of Phoenix/PSYCH 504 Dr. Melissa Venezia April 19, 2010 In this paper I have chosen Abraham Maslow to explain how his theory has influenced my understanding of the personalities and behaviors of people in society and in the workplace. Furthermore, I will explain how Maslow’s theory has influenced my position in society and in the workplace, along with my interactions with others. Abraham Maslow brought a bright outlook to the world of psychology with his idea of “hierarchy of human needs. His idea of an “authentic self” that core part of an individual who strives towards growth, is then measured one of the foundation stones of the Humanistic movement. The foundation of Maslow’s theory of motivation is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be addressed. According to the teachings of Abraham Maslow, there are general needs (physiological, safety, love, and esteem) that have to be satisfied before a person can proceed unselfishly. According to Maslow’s basic needs hierarchy everyone is born with individual needs.
If those needs are not met, one cannot survive and focus upward within the hierarchy. The first level consists of survival needs. One requires oxygen, sleep, water, and food to survive. After those needs are met, one can shift his or her focus to the next level, the need for security and safety. When pursuing safety needs, one attempts to secure safety in others and desire to form an environment that protects us, keeping us free from harm. According to Maslow one may lay with the notion of job security and the knowing that an income will be available to hem regularly. Until these goals are met, it is unlikely that someone would consider higher order needs, and his or her growth is then stifled. When someone experiences safety and security, they attempt to build friendships and establish a sense of belonging to a greater whole. Maslow’s third level of needs, the social needs of belonging and love, focus on our desire to be belong to a group and have a place in a larger whole. Meeting on a social level one can move one step closer to the top of the triangle.
Esteem need is the need for status and recognition within society, status sometimes drives people, the need to have a good job title and be recognized or the need to wear branded clothes as a symbol of status. –The fourth level: esteem needs. Those attempting to fulfill esteem needs channel their energy on respect from others, self-esteem, self-respect, and gaining recognition for our accomplishments in life. One can move forward to excel in careers, to expand knowledge, or constantly increase our self-esteem. The final level in the hierarchy is called the need for self-actualization.
According to Maslow, many people may be in this level but very few, if anybody, ever master it. As Maslow expressed, “What a man can be, he must be. ” Self-actualization refers to a complete understanding of the self. To be self-actualized means to know who he or she is, where he or she belongs in the greater society, and to feel like he or she is accomplishing all. It means to no longer sense shame or guilt, or even hate, but to accept the world and see human nature as essentially good. Self-actualization is the realization that an individual has reached his or her potential in life.
Maslow condemned behaviorism, Maslow professed that humanity is aware of motivation and drives on the whole. Without life’s obstacles, all of humanity would become healthy psychologically, reaching a deep self-understanding and acceptance of society and the world around them. Maslow reinforced his energy on realizing the positive aspects of mankind. “Proper management of the work lives of human beings, of the way in which they earn their living, can improve them and improve the world and in this sense is a utopian or revolutionary technique” (Abraham Maslow).
People who have their basic needs met become much better workers and can concentrate on fulfilling the visions put forth to them, rather than consistently struggling (Eiermann, 1994 – 2010). According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, my security needs were met to a degree. Like most people I think about securing my desire for steady employment. However, I lack in my security in my environment. Growing up, I grew up in a safe neighborhood that I take for granted. Today, I sometimes forget to lock my windows and doors placing my family and myself at risk compromising my security needs.
In the workplace and in society, I continue to compromise my security needs by leaving my purse in my car sometimes with my windows down. When I do take my purse from the car, I leave it in my office unlocked allowing others open access to browse through my purse and take from it. I trust with others in regard to my security needs. Maslow considered social needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs. According to Maslow he considered social needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs.
Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as do involvement in social, community, or religious groups. The level of social needs is the level in which I am trapped. I shy away from friendships, family and intimacy, and I do not enjoy public social gatherings. At work, I do my best to keep to myself and experience little interaction as possible with the adults. Being trapped in the social needs level makes it difficult to achieve a higher level position of employment. According to Maslow, esteem needs becomes increasingly important.
These include the need for factors that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition, and accomplishment. Because of the fact that I have not moved forward in Maslow’s Hierarchy of social need this level is extremely difficult. I have accomplished many events in life to know satisfaction. After completing my Bachelor’s degree, I had no emotional sense of gratitude. I was asked numerous times by people “how I felt,” “did I feel different” or “what was I going to do now,” and because of my unfortunate low self-esteem, I cannot find the importance of esteem needs.
Self-esteem is essential in personality. I carry myself around others in society and in the workforce as if I am a strong person with self-esteem. I am hungry to belong. At home and in my personal time I am most content being alone. I find calmness in spending time alone, watching a moving or just sitting out back by the pool reading a book. According to Maslow, Self-actualizing is the last step; people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others and interested fulfilling their potential.
I am nowhere close to this step, although, I am developing a better understanding of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. I look forward toward working through all of the levels to achieve self-awareness regarding who I am as a person developing and achieving a healthier lifestyle. I have worked with people who I believe have worked through all of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs levels and it shows. Although I have not reach all levels, according to Maslow, “growth needs do not stem from a lack of something, but rather from a desire to grow as a person. I believe that I can become a successful person working through the level of needs. In Conclusion, in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs no one stays in one particular hierarchy for an extended period. We constantly strive to advance, and at the same time various forces beyond our control attempt to push us down. Those on top are pushed down, and those on the bottom are pushed up. Maslow notes that for some individuals, the need for self-esteem is more important than the need for love. For others, the need for creative fulfillment may have superseded even the most basic needs.
References Abraham Maslow. (2005-2009). Retrieved from http://www. abraham-maslow. com/amIndex. asp Cherry, K. (n. d. ). Hierarchy of needs. Retrieved from http://psychology. about. com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds. htm Eiermann, K. (1994 – 2010). Maslow on management. Retrieved from http://www. dividingline. com/private/Philosophy/Philosophers/Maslow/Review_MaslowonManagement_Maslow. shtml Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. (n. d. ). Retrieved from http://www. learnmarketing. net/consumer. htm