When Abraham Maslow introduced the world to Humanistic Theory, a 'third force' in psychology was born (Behaviorism & Psychoanalytical theory being the first and second). As the name suggests, humanistic theory concerns itself with characteristics which are distinctly human.
Arguably the best known example of such a characteristic is Self-Actualization, an innate motivating force unique to the human species. Originally Published in Psychological Review in 1943, it was in this landmark publication that Maslow provided the first published representation of Self-Actualization at the pinnicle of a hierarchy of human needs. According to Maslow Self-Actualization refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, in essence to become everything that one is capable of becoming.
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You can download a free full-text PDF of Abraham Maslow's classic (Self-Actualization/Hierarchy of Needs) article via the following link.
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