Sociology Index

Self-Actualization Theory

Self-actualization is a term that has been used in various psychology theories of Goldstein, Maslow and Rogers. According to hierarchy of needs Maslow's theory, people have lower order needs that in general must be fulfilled before high order needs can be satisfied. As people move up Maslow's hierarchy of needs, they will reach self-actualization.

Self-actualization theory was introduced by the organismic theorist Kurt Goldstein for the motive to realize one's full potential. Self-actualization theory was brought to prominence in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory. Maslow's self-actualised person possesses an unusual ability to detect the dishonest in personality. Self-actualization is the tendency to actualize, as much as possible, individual capacities in the world.

Kurt Goldstein defined self-actualization as a driving life force that will ultimately lead to maximizing one's abilities and determine the path of one's life; compare will to power.

The Failure of Self-Actualization Theory - A Critique of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow - Leonard Geller
This inquiry critically examines the self-actualization theories of Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow. I attempt to establish the general presumption that self-actualization theory as such has very little to offer toward understanding and improving the human condition.

The Myth of Self-Actualization - Michael Daniels
I argue that the primary function of the theory of self-actualization is to establish a myth of human development that provides conceptual support for people seeking fulfillment and offers clear normative guidance. There are ambiguities and contradictions in the self-actualization theory.

Self-Actualization in the Corporate Hierarchy
North American Journal of Psychology, 2006 by John M. Mahoney, Hester L. Dorer
The level of self-actualizing was correlated to job satisfaction regardless of the hierarchical level, and level of actualizing was correlated to type of work environment.

Compatibility of self-actualization and anxiety - Orin Dodez, Paul F. Zelhart, Robert P. Markley
Journal of Clinical Psychology, Volume 38, Issue 4, pages 696–702, October 1982
That anxiety appears to be the dynamic of self-actualization. The current study further examined the empirical and conceptual relation between anxiety and self-actualization.

The previously unexplored relationship of self-actualization to life stress and perceived social support from family and from friends was investigated. Significant sex differences discovered in the relationship of self-actualization to perceived social support are discussed in terms of possible sex differences in the developmental process of self-actualization.

A cognitive-systemic reconstruction of maslow's theory of self-actualization, Francis Heylighen
Maslow's need hierarchy and model of the self-actualizing personality are reviewed and criticized. The definition of self-actualization is found to be confusing, and the gratification of all needs is concluded to be insufficient to explain self-actualization. A hierarchy of basic needs is derived from the urgency of perturbations. Self-actualization is redefined as the perceived competence to satisfy these basic needs in due time.

Effects of defensiveness and self-actualization on a Herzberg replication
John Paul Szura1 and Mary E. Vermillion, Illinois Institute of Technology, USA
Two hundred workers were tested for self-actualization. Results indicated that self-actualization is related to the attribution of satisfaction to both motivators and hygienes.