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Comparison of Maslow and Rogers' Theories

"Critically compare and contrast Maslow and Rogers accounts of the Self-Actualised/Fully Performing Person with Positive Psychological Ideas of the 'Smart Person'. "

Talk about the similarities and differences

Self actualisation described by Larsen and buss as a "development based motive, a motive to build up, to flourish and become to become increasingly more what the first is destined to be". The humanistic area of psychology focuses on the individual's potential and strains the value of development and self-actualization. This essay will be compare and contrast two personality theories of do it yourself actualization from Abraham Maslow s hierarchy of needs and Carl Rogers concept of the fully working person.

Self- actualization to maslow represents progress of a person toward fulfilment of the best need. Maslow (1968) identified it as 'the procedure for becoming a lot more what one idiosyncratically is, to become everything that one is with the capacity of becoming'. Maslow suggested that individual aren't doing what they were made to do, they just can't feel completely fulfilled, therefore making the average person feel unsettled about their future. Both Maslow and Rogers agrees that everyone is good and have the ability to self actualize.

Maslow was the first to research and initiate the area of the purpose to self actualization. His theory stems around the idea of 'need', maslow hierarchy displays a linear pattern of expansion and are hierarchically organised. More basic needs are found in the bottom of the pyramid and the do it yourself actualization need is at the top. The bottom of the pyramid is the main of the hierarchy in conditions of survival of a person set alongside the higher-level needs (amount 1) in order to get to the top underneath must all be satisfied. Maslow's hierarchy is described as follows:


  • At underneath of the pyramid will be the emotional (or basic) needs of an individual: breathing, food, water, rest, sex. The next level is protection needs: security, order and stableness. These two levels are very important for the basic survival of the average person. Once this is all accomplished they can strive more.
  • The third level of need is love and belonging : once the individual has looked after themselves they will be ready to discuss themselves to others such as having as having family and friends. The fourth level is esteem- this is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have got achieved, Maslow (1968) believed individuals needed fulfill two types; esteem from others and self esteem; individuals wishes to be recognised by others as successful as well as popularity of their successes and ability. When individuals gain this esteem from others it is translated into self-confidence; sees themselves to be good and valuable.
  • The top of the hierarchy is the do it yourself- actualization need. That's where the average person know who they are or what they want to be and have very little questions when coming up with decisions about their route of life. It's a state of tranquility and understanding because their full potential has been achieved. Maslow recognized these kind of people who have peak experience and are highly creative.

Maslow (1968) stated that lower degrees of needs within the hierarchy pyramid must be satisfied first before fulfilling the bigger ones. It is because the low level needs are more powerful and urgent to attain due to its relevancy of success. The needs are established specially in order to show that an individual must his have sufficient food and feel safe before attempting to earn esteem. Maslow (1968) advised that the hierarchy was made to reflect the common specific, it emerges during individuals development -gratifying the low needs early in life and little by little as the individual develops these needs, then your higher needs will fall under place and becomes satisfied. Maslow (1968) also theorized that those who attemptedto go right to higher needs their inspiration will be weak and easily disrupted. 'This inner tendency toward personal actualization is not strong and overpowering and unmistakable like the intuition of animals. It is weak and delicate and refined and easily beat by habit, ethnic pressures and wrong attitudes toward it, ' (Maslow, 1968).

Even though Maslow's hierarchy is popular however he previously little research to demonstrate this theory, this theory it was based on his own personal thoughts about determination towards self actualization. Rogers(1902-1987)had an alternative reason to self actualization he called it the totally operating person-"The organism has one basic inclination and striving - to actualize, maintain, and enhance the experiencing organism" (Rogers, 1951). He thought that a fully functioning person is an individual who has already been or on theory way to becoming self actualized- this occurs whenever a person ideal self(who they wish to be) is congruent with the actual behaviour (self-image). He presumed that everyone could achieve their goals, desires and wishes in life and when the person did so, self - actualization occurs. Rogers (1961) says that not everyone can self-actualize and the people that do reach compared to that are called fully performing person. - the individual is touching her and today and the individuals experiences and thoughts are constantly growing and changing "Such a person encounters in the present, with immediacy. The guy can are in his emotions and reactions of the moment. He's not bound by the structure of his past learning's, but they are a present resource for him in as far as they relate to the experience of the moment. He lives freely, subjectively, in an existential confrontation of this minute in life, " Rogers (1962) article).

Figure 2

In amount 2 Rogers identified five charteristics of the totally functioning person:

  • Open to experience-both positive and negative feelings are accepted. Negative thoughts are not cast away alternatively worked through them.
  • Existential living- avoids prejudging and preconceptions in situations. Being able to benefit from the current moment rather than always looking back the past or forward to the future (living for the moment).
  • Trust feelings-trusting their own feelings and judgement rather than seeking for other people for direction. Trusting that their own decisions will be the right one.
  • Creativity-the ability to adjust, change and seek new experiences. Risk taking and not playing safe all the time. Have creative thinking in the individuals life.
  • Fulfilled life- the individual is happy and satisfied with life but still looking for new difficulties and experiences.

Rogers (1959) implies that folks want to feel and experience and act in ways that are consistent with the self-image which reflect what we would like to be like, ideal-self. The closer the self-image and ideal personal are to one another.

The self notion includes three components:

Self well worth/or self applied esteem- what the individual think about ourselves. Rogers thought this developed in early childhood made from conversation of the kid and parents

Self image-how the person sees themselves

Ideal self-this is the way the person wish to be. consisting of goals and ambitions in life.

Rogers thought people need to be viewed by others favorably, loved and respected. Positive regards is to do with how people see them in interpersonal interactions. You will find two types unconditional positive respect and conditional positive relation. Rogers believed that infants had a need to be psotively self-regarded

Unconditional positive regard-this is where in fact the parents accepts and loves the child for who they are. People who can self-actulize will have received unconditional positive regards from others, especially parents.

Condtional positive- the child behaves in a way where the parents approve of. The child is not adored for who they really is only with techniques where their behavior is based upon what they have the parents consider accurate. A person who constantly seeks for acceptance from others will probably have observed conditional positive relation as a kid.

This is where Rogers and Maslow ideas contrasted, Rogers thought that early child years experiences are important for the individual to achieve self applied actualization however Maslow did not take this under consideration and only concentrated primarily on attaining needs within the hierarchy.

The two theories have an identical paths in terms of individuals pursuing their on way to accomplish self actualization and even more basic needs in conditions of survival needs need to be satisfied first before a person might achieve do it yourself actualization. They both agree on being accepted can become more influential than the need for self-actulization.

They both compare in what they focus on after defining personal actualization. Maslow focused on understanding the characteristics of any do it yourself actlizaing individuals. Rogers viewed the characteristics but also considered the ways achieve self applied actualization as well as growing therapy to beat barriers that where restricting people from achieving their full probable. Maslow backed his theory by learning some people who he thought has reached their full potential such as Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson. He found that personal actualized people apperared to talk about similar charactestic attributes.

Maslow estimated only 1 percent of people are encouraged in becoming home actualised (Larsen and Buss, 2008) however rogers believed that many people are with the capacity of becoming self actualized. The thing that are stopping them has been fixated on conditions of worth where in his remedy takes out that from his clients so they can continue on the path to becoming self actualised.

Overall, between your two theories of home actualization it seems to show that rogers thinks that all people can aim to become self actualized on the other hands Maslow only believes that a little percentage can strive to that level. Rogers primarly focused on remedy to help individuals to help reach fully pontential and Maslow arranged with this system. Suggesting that the two theories are similar in terms of their explanation and definition of self actualization- similar chaterstics and features. No research findings have suggested what theory is more valid than the other as they are both have an identical in terms with their theoretical basis towards home actualization. Although it suggestsd that Rogers ideas are more valid as his reaserch includes remedy of clients, as Maslows had little facts ot was bottom on his own personal thoughts.


Rogers, C. (1951). Client-centered therapy: Its current practice, implications and theory. London: Constable.

Rogers, C. (1959). A theory of therapy, personality and social connections as developed in the client-centered platform. In (ed. ) S. Koch, Psychology: A study of a knowledge. Vol. 3: Formulations of the person and the sociable context. NY: McGraw Hill.

Rogers, C. R. (1961). On Learning to be a person: A psychotherapists view of psychotherapy. Houghton Mifflin.

Rogers, C. R. , Stevens, B. , Gendlin, E. T. , Shlien, J. M. , & Truck Dusen, W. (1967). Person to person: The issue of being human being: A new trend in psychology. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.

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