US psychologist Abraham H. Maslow’s A Theory of Human Motivation is a classic of psychological research that helped change the field for good. Like many field-changing thinkers, Maslow was not just a talented researcher, he was also a creative thinker – able to see things from a new perspective and show them in a different light.
At a time when psychology was dominated by two major schools of thought, Maslow was able to forge a new, third paradigm, that remains influential today. Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalysis had developed the idea of understanding the mind through dialogue between patient and analyst. The behaviorism of Ivan Pavlov and John Watson had focused on comprehending the mind through behaviors that could be measured, trained, and changed. Maslow, however, generated new ideas, forging what he called “positive” or “humanistic psychology”. His argument was that humans are psychologically motivated by a series of hierarchical needs, starting with the most essential first.
Maslow thought it important for the advancement of psychology to identify, group and rank these needs in terms of priority. His belief in the value of this third way was important in leading those who studied psychology to redefine the discipline, and so see it in new ways.
Table of Contents
Ways In to the Text
Who was Abraham H. Maslow?
What does A Theory of Human Motivation Say?
Why does A Theory of Human Motivation Matter?
Section 1: Influences
Module 1: The Author and the Historical Context
Module 2: Academic Context
Module 3: The Problem
Module 4: The Author's Contribution
Section 2: Ideas
Module 5: Main Ideas
Module 6: Secondary Ideas
Module 7: Achievement
Module 8: Place in the Author's Work
Section 3: Impact
Module 9: The First Responses
Module 10: The Evolving Debate
Module 11: Impact and Influence Today
Module 12: Where Next?
Glossary of Terms
People Mentioned in the Text
Dr Stoyan Stoyanov holds a PhD in management from the University of Edinburgh. He is currently a lecturer at the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.