What is self-actualization?

1 Answer
Apr 27, 2016

In Maslow's hierarchy of human needs, self-actualization was supposed to be the pinnacle of human needs. Current research does not support this hierarchal approach, nor that self-actualization is at the top.


Maslow developed his theory of human needs in the mid-twentyth century as a hierarchal pyramid - 1st and most important stuff at the bottom, working your way up to self-actualization at the top. The model was used extensively, especially in educational learning settings.

However, model social psychology recognizes that some of the elements in his hierarchy are important (like food, shelter, etc.). However, it is no longer thought that that a hierarchal pyramidal type structure is valid. Its now thought to be more of an interconnected network of factors that should be present to satisfy needs. See pic.

The idea of "self actualization" is also not considered to be a "core" need any more, but has been replaced by other factors.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2012/03/29/what-maslow-missed/#5b1b4f74455a image source here