Maslow, Abraham (1908–1970)

Abraham Harold Maslow was an American psychologist whose work on human needs, self-actualization, and higher levels of consciousness was extremely influential in the third quarter of the twentieth century. He played an important role in establishing the tradition of humanistic psychology. He was born in New York and first studied law then psychology, achieving a doctorate in 1934 at the University of Wisconsin. He chaired the psychology department at Brandeis from 1951 to 1969.

Of greatest relevance to consumer studies is his account of a hierarchy of needs. The core notion here is that basic material needs (“scarcity needs”) have to be satisfied before people become interested in pursuing higher goals (“growth needs”). Experience of particular problems in satisfying one or other needs in early life ...

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