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Video:Overview of Self-Actualization in Psychology

with Dr. Jean Leahy

Self-actualization is at the very top of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, but that doesn't mean it can't be a confusing concept to undrestand. This video from About.com will explain the concept of self-actualization in greater detail.See Transcript

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Transcript:Overview of Self-Actualization in Psychology

Hello, my name is Dr. Jean Leahy. I'm a clinical psychologist in private practice in Chicago, and I'm here today with About.com. Today we're going to talk about self-actualization in personality theory.

Self-Actualization in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Self-actualization is part of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs. It is considered the last stage. This theory is a cumulative theory of personality based on growth. The hierarchy of needs starts with basic, primitive needs, and then moves onto more social needs. Maslow called this progression the desire for self-fulfillment, or "becoming more and more of what one is." Self-actualization is at the top of the pyramid, the most complex need to arrive at.

Traits of Self-Actualization

Self-actualized people have realistic expectations of themselves and others. Self-actualized people also care about others and have involvement outside of themselves, as with organizations, volunteering, religious groups and so on. Because self-actualized people feel very centered with themselves and know themselves, they often present as spontaneous and independent.

Peak Experience and Self-Actualization

Self-actualized people often have peak experience according to Maslow. Some examples of these peak experiences are wonder, joy, awe, and inspiration. Maslow realized that not all people would reach self-actualization and have these peak experiences.

To learn more about Maslow's hierarchy of needs and this stage, visit us on the web at About.com.

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