Open main menu

Wikipedia β


WikiProject Psychology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Hope to improve this articleEdit

Self-Actualization is a very important and basic theory that every business student reads and learns, seeing this article i can say, its in a very bad shape, the definitions and references provided are worthless and seems promotional, i will try my best to bring this article at its utmost quality levels, though right now i don't have administrators rights, therefore i might need help from administrators on protecting this article and possible vandalism. This is so confusing, "if i edit the useless article, the previous contribution will be deleted!, i don't know i should do that or not?, I have made a separate article self actualization theory, further administrators can decide what can be done.

"This article is bad!"Edit

There should be a limit of how many tags can be on top of an article... nobody will ever read this article as long as the first thing they see is four different boxes shouting "This article is bad!" —KNcyu38 (talkcontribs) 07:17, 16 February 2007 (UTC)

Definition unclearEdit

The article currently does not have a clear definition of self-actualization. I may try to re-write it. I think that this article should begin with as straightforward as possible of a definition of self actualization, and then discuss the history of the term afterwards. Cazort (talk) 21:38, 30 January 2008 (UTC)

Self actualization?Edit

I am curious as to how self actualization is credited to someone, when the term is used by Descartes (1596-1650) in his Meditations on First Philosophy (Meditation IV to be exact). If there are plans to expand the definition, and use of the term, to other disciplines other than Psychology then please disregard. If it is not, why not? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:19, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

peak experiencesEdit

I agree that this needs to be cited and expanded. I've deleted it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:02, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


I think self-actualization has something to do with the philosophy of Aristotle, notably in Actus et potentia, but I would to double-check and source that however. ADM (talk) 04:03, 1 February 2009 (UTC) You are correct, it is quoted as such from the current textbook at university level for the NSTP course in the Republic of the Philippines. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:01, 13 July 2015 (UTC)


It occurs to me that mentioning Swiss Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse in this article might be very helpful. He really popularized the idea of self-discovery and self-actualization in the realm of Literature, drawing influence from most of the people cited in the article. His style, themes, and overall message of the importance of self-actualization was apparently profound enough to earn him a Nobel, so perhaps he's worthy of mention in this article? If I get some free time, I may plan ways to include him in this article, barring objection of course. (talk) 16:33, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Layman's viewEdit

As a layman, I find the article quite hard to follow. At the moment, it reads like an academic paper, and avoids any concrete examples.

I thought I knew what "self-actualization" meant before I came to this page. Now I'm not so sure... Heavy Joke (talk) 07:28, 13 November 2009 (UTC)


When Maslow introduced the English term, he knew that self- is a prefix and requires a hyphen.-- (talk) 01:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Misunderstanding Goldstein?Edit

I have a problem with the way Goldstein's concept of "self-actualization" is represented in the article as it may lead to misunderstandings. First: the German term used by Goldstein, translated as "self-actualization", is "Selbstverwirklichung" - I find "self-realization" more adequate (And I know that "self-actualization" is the word used in the translation of "The Organism"). Second: Goldstein sets it in contrast to "self-preservation" (Selbsterhaltung). "Self-actualization" for Goldstein means something that comes close to realization of one's "essence", one's identity, one's felt sense of oneself; which may in consequence mean that a person is willing to risk his or her life in order to maintain "self-actualization" (Selbsverwirklichung), the realization of his or her "essence" of the person he or she feels that she/he IS. Unfortunately I only have the German edition of "The Organism" and I cannot contribute quotations. Friedhelm, Germany -- (talk) 11:55, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Chapter removed from article for further editingEdit

I removed this chapter from the article, as it doesn't fit into the Goldstein-section, and it cannot easily be integrated into the Maslow-chapter:

"“What a man can be, he must be.”[8] This forms the basis of the perceived need for self-actualization. This level of need pertains to what a person's full potential is and realizing that potential. Maslow describes this desire as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming.[9] This is a broad definition of the need for self-actualization, but when applied to individuals the need is specific. For example one individual may have the strong desire to become an ideal parent, in another it may be expressed athletically, and in another it may be expressed in painting, pictures, or inventions.[10] As mentioned before, in order to reach a clear understanding of this level of need one must first not only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safety, love, and esteem, but master these needs." Friedhelm, Germany -- (talk) 12:24, 7 November 2011 (UTC)

In the leadEdit

Rewording the Maslow sentence in the leadEdit

As is, this sentence looks like it needs some work: "However, the concept was brought most fully to prominence in Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory as the final level of psychological development that can be achieved when all basic and mental needs are fulfilled and the "actualization" of the full personal potential takes place."

I propose changing it to something along these lines: "The concept was however brought most fully to prominence with Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, as the final level of psychological development where the "actualization" of full personal potential is allowed to take place, achievable only after all basic and mental needs have been fulfilled." Thoughts? Therewillbefact (talk) 22:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps it might also be a good idea to move this bit further up in the lead (given that it might be the most relevant piece of the lead)? Therewillbefact (talk) 06:48, 23 February 2012 (UTC)


I think that 'flow' is somehow related to self-actualization. I understand that the lede is the summary of the article. While 'flow' is mentioned in three lines in the lede, it is not mentioned at all in the rest of the article. I wonder how we can improve this disproportion. Thank you. New worl (talk) 09:45, 22 May 2013 (UTC)

Mother Theresa is a humanitrian?Edit

Some would be to differ: (talk) 20:30, 18 June 2012 (UTC)

More on GoldsteinEdit

The comments below were copied from my talk page Vertium When all is said and done 19:20, 9 July 2012 (UTC)'s change was not vandalism. However, while it was in good faith, it was not a good idea. That's why I repeatedly removed two parenthetical remarks and a third that might as well be in parentheses, all of which showed a fascination with Goldstein that was undue. The article is about self-actualization, not Goldstein. We must acknowledge his important role, but we cannot distort the topic of the article. (talk) 17:35, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

Yes, the article is about self-actualization as a concept, and this concept was introduced into the scientific community (and developed to a large extend in his book "The Organism") by Kurt Goldstein. Thus Goldstein belongs into the article, and there is no "undue fascination" behind that. And as I said: Especially the explanatory comment concerning Anne Harrington's book is useful for the reader to understand why the book is listed. There are no recognizable "distortions" of the article by the deleted sentences. So I suggest again that either IP reverts his repeated deletions (that he did again) or Vertium intervenes in that direction. Friedhelm, Germany -- (talk) 17:53, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Goldstein does belong on the article and he's right there, given full credit for originally introducing the term. Nobody is trying to hide this fact. However, the concept was further developed by others, and we don't need to continually reference Goldstein when discussing work that was not done by him. The constant mentions would constitute an undue fascination. (talk) 21:04, 9 July 2012 (UTC)
Again, my thanks to both of you for engaging in a civil discussion instead of edit warring. If we can get to some sense of consensus here, then we can update the article. Vertium When all is said and done 21:14, 9 July 2012 (UTC)

OK. Lets get down to the things we are really talking about. It's not Goldstein in general. It's three small remarks. I suggest we delete the remark in connection with the college book, which I also find unnecessary at that place. But I would insist on the additional explanatory remarks under "Further reading" because they are useful for the reader, especially with Harrington's book: "Harrington, Anne: Reenchanted Science: Holism in German Culture from Wilhelm II to Hitler, Princeton University Press, 1999. (Anne Harrington dedicates a comprehensive chapter to Kurt Goldstein and his work.) Heylighen, Francis. (1992). A cognitive-systemic reconstruction of Maslow’s theory of self-actualization. Behavioral Science, 37(1), 39–58. doi:10.1002/bs.3830370105 (completely neglecting Kurt Goldstein' work and his influence)" - Friedhelm, Germany -- (talk) 07:29, 10 July 2012 (UTC)

I've made another change. Please take a look at it and tell me what you think. (talk) 01:25, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

OK. And that finishes this argument for me. We can leave it as it is now. Friedhelm; Germany -- (talk) 10:48, 12 July 2012 (UTC)

I'm glad we were able to come to a compromise. (talk) 04:29, 14 July 2012 (UTC)

Citations and other problemsEdit

I would like to point out that the citation formatting in this article is inconsistent. For example, "Towards a Psychology of Being" is listed both in the "References" section and the "Notes" section, and is cited both with tags and MLA-style in-text documentation in different spots throughout the article. I would also like to note that it seems somebody had a field day adding uncited, unrelated, and often unnecessary information and rewording of the information already present (in the guise of "clarifying" things), especially in Self-actualization#In psychology, which I cleaned up a little bit, as well as the final paragraph of Self-actualization#Criticism. (talk) 22:41, 29 November 2013 (UTC)

I looked through the history and it appears that most of the frivolous edits I was talking about came from Julianjulioalive. Unfortunately, they were made long enough ago to necessitate manual reversion of his edits. (talk) 00:06, 30 November 2013 (UTC)

"People who are self actualized have had peak experiences. Peak experiences are situations that are so intense that the person loses all sense of self and they find themselves in the flow of the event. These are often religious or mystical experiences."

I'm concerned about this paragraph in the article. Does it mean to say that ALL people who are self actualized have had such experiences? According to whom? Maslow? I hope this brief paragraph could be expanded with greater detail and referencing. Thank you! 20:51, 23 July 2007 (UTC)David Walker, London

Given how weak the referencing is, i propose deleting the peak experiences paragraph until it is strengthened. As is, it adds nothing to understanding of the topic. (talk) 09:47, 27 August 2008 (UTC)

Maslow citations cleanup neededEdit

The article contains citations to Maslow with various problems:

  • title but no date (e.g., "Abraham H. Maslow, Motivation and Personality. 2nd ed....")
  • date but no title (e.g., "Maslow 1987", "Maslow, 2011")
  • incorrect date (e.g., "Maslow, 2000 A Theory of Human Motivation", actual date was 1943)
  • dates of publication attributed to Maslow but after his death (e.g., 1987, 2000, 2011)

Therefore, I am adding a Refimprove template to the article. When cleaning up Maslow references, it may be helpful to check the "Comprehensive bibliography of Maslow's works" which can be found in the Abraham Maslow article. -- HLachman (talk) 14:34, 24 November 2016 (UTC)

Return to "Self-actualization" page.