...a groundbreaker in the School of Behaviorism
Abraham Maslow (April 1, 1908 – June 8, 1970) who was born in Brooklyn, NYC grew up as the son of Jewish immigrants from Russia in the early 20th century. Living in poverty, he still had to fight with antisemitism throughout his school career. Living through the time of two world wars he has been suffered from consistent discrimination against his origin (living as a Russian in America) and religion (being Jewish during the time of Nazi Germany). In 1926 he attended the City College of New York where he learned about basic psychological studies which he found so uninteresting that he almost immediately dropped out. His first own ideas of psychology where published between 1937 and 1951 after finding his mentor Alfred Adler. Inspired by his ideas he started work on his own new discipline called "humanistic psychology". This started his life long thinking and research about mental health and human potential.
Abraham Maslow is considered a pioneer of behavioral psychological studies. Even though his mentor Alfred Adler used to be a student of Sigmund Freud, Maslow certainly disagreed with Freud's Psychoanalysis based on the idea the human being has a free will. According to his theory, Maslow believed that every human action, emotion and behavior is a result of consequences, which shape the people's thinking. Maslow created his own hierarchy of needs which is based on the goal to achieve self actualization. This is only possible by building up the life important necessities step by step starting with the basic needs (eat, sleep, drink)
According to Maslow and his humanistic psychology, the Self actualization is what every human being strives to achieve which leads to the realization of the full potential and the best one can be.
Living in the early 20th century in America, Maslow might have been inspired by the American Dream that came up especially during the "Golden Twenties". America but also every single individual tried to get the most out of the personal resources. The economy experienced a legendary boom which lead to a positive self attitude of every inhabitant. Since Maslow was always looking for the answer on his question:"What makes people try to self actualize themselves?" he might have found this answer in his own environment, the United States of America .