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Abraham Maslow’s Biography and Contribution to Psychology Essay (Article)

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Abraham Maslow was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1908. In his life, he made significant contributions in the field of psychology (Boeree 1). He came up with the hierarchy of needs pyramid and humanistic psychology. He was raised up in Brooklyn by his parents of Jewish origin.

The parents had moved into the United States from Russia. Maslow was the first born in a family of seven children. His childhood was unhappy hence he found solace in reading. Eventually, he studied law at the City College of New York. Maslow later attended the University of Wisconsin to study psychology since he had gained interest in the field. He got three psychology degrees from the University.

In 1937, Maslow became a teacher at Brooklyn College and served as a faculty member until 1951. During his years as a teacher, he admired anthropologist Ruth Benedict and the work of Max Wertheimer, who was a gestalt psychologist. According to Maslow, these were individuals who lived exceptional lives.

As a result, he started analyzing and making notes on their daily behaviors. The analysis he made later guided his theories and human behavior research. In early 1950s, Maslow was among the key founders and supporters of humanistic psychology. He was the brain behind famous theories, which characterized the humanist movement. Some of those theories included the hierarchy of needs and peak experiences.

While many psychologists concentrated on human nature, Maslow focused on the benefits of mental health. His focus on the human potential played an important role in the growth of psychology. Many academic psychologists did not agree with him but his contributions in psychology could not be ignored. He suffered a heart attack and died in June, 1970.

Alfred Binet

Alfred Binet was born in Nice, on July 8, 1857(Imhof 1). After birth, he was given the name Alfredo Binet. His father was a physician while his mother worked as an artist. Binet spent most of his time in Paris with his mother after his parents separated. He graduated with a degree in law in 1878 but his desire was to pursue a career in the medical field. He started his science studies at Sorbonne, but after a short while, he started reading psychology books written by John Stuart Mill and Charles Darwin.

Binet started his work in the medical field at Salpetriere Hospital, in Paris, under the tutelage of John-Martin Charcot. Later on, he became a researcher and associate director of Laboratory of Experimental Psychology. He served as the director of the lab between 1894 and 1911.

Binet was instrumental in Charcot’s hypnotism research although it did not succeed. He then shifted his focus and started studying intelligence and development. He had broad and diverse interests, but his most remarkable contribution was on intelligence (Imhof 3).

Binet was among psychologists who played an important role in the growth of psychology. He developed intelligence scales, on which intelligence tests are based. However, he doubted the reliability of his own tests hence he did not encourage scientists to use them to determine inborn intelligence. He held the view that individuals could get varying scores and pointed out that motivation had the ability to influence test scores. Binet died in 1911.

James McKeen Cattell

Born in 1860 in Easton, James Mckeen Cattel made history as the first professor of psychology in the United States. Cattell was the first child in a wealthy family, which lived in Pennysylvania. His father served in the Presbyterian Church but later became the head of Easton College.

At the age of 16, he enrolled at Lafayette College to study English Literature. He eventually graduated from the college with a M.A. degree. He went to Germany for further studies, where he met Wilhelm Wundt. Their meeting initiated his interest in psychology. Cattell took some time to study at John Hopkins University before he went back to Germany to assist Wundt. He became the first American to publish a psychology dissertation (Cherry 4).

In 1886, Cattell got his Ph.D. and started teaching at the University of Cambridge. He went back to the United States and taught at the University of Penysylvania. He later taught psychology at Columbia University. He was appointed to head American Psychological Association as the President in 1895.

Cattell emphasized application of quantitative methods, which impacted psychology positively. He was also instrumental in ensuring that psychology was recognized as a science. In its earlier days of development, Psychology had been considered a lesser science. While addressing an APA conference in 1895, Cattell pointed out that the field had gained ground despite the fact that it had struggled to get recognition.

He underscored the important role that psychology played in the undergraduate curriculum. In addition, he said that the field had become competitive among university courses because the number of students attracted to it had increased significantly. Cattell was also credited for pioneering famous psychology journals among them Popular Science Monthly, The Psychological Review and the Journal of Science. He died in 1994.

Works Cited

Boeree, George. Araham Maslow. 2006. Web. .

Cherry, Kendra. James McKeen Cattell Biography (1860-1944) . 2013. Web. .

Imhof, Trisha. Alfred Binet. 2000. Web. .

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IvyPanda. "Abraham Maslow's Biography and Contribution to Psychology." May 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-maslow-2/.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Abraham Maslow's Biography and Contribution to Psychology." May 29, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/abraham-maslow-2/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Abraham Maslow's Biography and Contribution to Psychology'. 29 May.

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