A. H. Maslow (1970) propounded this theory of need hierarchy which is, essentially a contemporary organismic theory. Maslow firmly rejected the idea that all human behaviour can be explained in terms of Hullian and Skinnerian concepts of deprivation and reinforcement. His humanistic theory of self actualization treats man as totally different from other animals. This theory is totally based on human needs and their satisfactions. Maslow had strong belief in the capability of men who can successfully work out a better world for mankind as well as for himself.
The two characteristics of his motivational theory are:
1. Hierarchical conception of motivation.
2. To develop more valid and comprehensive psychology of motivation through the study of self – actualiser.
His theory is based on study of healthy and creative individuals and presents the humanistic perspective, namely that human life will never be understood unless the highest aspirations are taken into account. Growth, self actualization, striving towards health, the quest for identity and autonomy, the yearning for excellence are all ways for “striving upward”. Abraham Maslow (1908-1974), the founder of humanistic psychology has given elaborate psychological interpretation of motives. All human beings/species have several needs, the needs for food, needs for safety, needs for protection, needs for care, need for gregariousness, the needs for affection and love, the needs for respect, status and self respect, the needs for self actualization. All these needs are organized into a hierarchical structure and the basic psychological needs are at the base and other needs are at higher level. According to Maslow motivation is a search for self actualization. The individual is an integrated whole. Therefore the whole individual is motivated and not as parts in him. There is a need only for an individual and not such as the need of mouth, the need of stomach or the genital need.