Individual Perceptions of Self-Actualization

What Functional Motives Are Linked to Fulfilling One’s Full Potential?

Jaimie Arona Krems, Douglas Kenrick, Rebecca Neel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Maslow’s self-actualization remains a popular notion in academic research as well as popular culture. The notion that life’s highest calling is fulfilling one’s own unique potential has been widely appealing. But what do people believe they are doing when they pursue the realization of their full, unique potentials? Here, we examine lay perceptions of self-actualization. Self-actualizing, like any drive, is unlikely to operate without regard to biological and social costs and benefits. We examine which functional outcomes (e.g., gaining status, making friends, finding mates, caring for kin) people perceive as central to their individual self-actualizing. Three studies suggest that people most frequently link self-actualization to seeking status, and, concordant with life history theory, what people regard as self-actualizing varies in predictable ways across the life span and across individuals. Contrasting with self-actualization, people do not view other types of well-being—eudaimonic, hedonic, subjective—as furthering status-linked functional outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1337-1352
Number of pages16
JournalPersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin
Volume43
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

Fingerprint

Pleasure
Cost-Benefit Analysis
Research
Life History Traits
Drive

Keywords

  • evolution
  • fundamental motives
  • motivation/goals
  • self-actualization
  • social cognition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology

Cite this

Individual Perceptions of Self-Actualization : What Functional Motives Are Linked to Fulfilling One’s Full Potential? / Krems, Jaimie Arona; Kenrick, Douglas; Neel, Rebecca.

In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 43, No. 9, 01.09.2017, p. 1337-1352.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{a6c64a9fcaf6421ba6ccbb78a09d6c7f,
title = "Individual Perceptions of Self-Actualization: What Functional Motives Are Linked to Fulfilling One’s Full Potential?",
abstract = "Maslow’s self-actualization remains a popular notion in academic research as well as popular culture. The notion that life’s highest calling is fulfilling one’s own unique potential has been widely appealing. But what do people believe they are doing when they pursue the realization of their full, unique potentials? Here, we examine lay perceptions of self-actualization. Self-actualizing, like any drive, is unlikely to operate without regard to biological and social costs and benefits. We examine which functional outcomes (e.g., gaining status, making friends, finding mates, caring for kin) people perceive as central to their individual self-actualizing. Three studies suggest that people most frequently link self-actualization to seeking status, and, concordant with life history theory, what people regard as self-actualizing varies in predictable ways across the life span and across individuals. Contrasting with self-actualization, people do not view other types of well-being—eudaimonic, hedonic, subjective—as furthering status-linked functional outcomes.",
keywords = "evolution, fundamental motives, motivation/goals, self-actualization, social cognition",
author = "Krems, {Jaimie Arona} and Douglas Kenrick and Rebecca Neel",
year = "2017",
month = "9",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1177/0146167217713191",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "43",
pages = "1337--1352",
journal = "Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin",
issn = "0146-1672",
publisher = "SAGE Publications Inc.",
number = "9",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Individual Perceptions of Self-Actualization

T2 - What Functional Motives Are Linked to Fulfilling One’s Full Potential?

AU - Krems, Jaimie Arona

AU - Kenrick, Douglas

AU - Neel, Rebecca

PY - 2017/9/1

Y1 - 2017/9/1

N2 - Maslow’s self-actualization remains a popular notion in academic research as well as popular culture. The notion that life’s highest calling is fulfilling one’s own unique potential has been widely appealing. But what do people believe they are doing when they pursue the realization of their full, unique potentials? Here, we examine lay perceptions of self-actualization. Self-actualizing, like any drive, is unlikely to operate without regard to biological and social costs and benefits. We examine which functional outcomes (e.g., gaining status, making friends, finding mates, caring for kin) people perceive as central to their individual self-actualizing. Three studies suggest that people most frequently link self-actualization to seeking status, and, concordant with life history theory, what people regard as self-actualizing varies in predictable ways across the life span and across individuals. Contrasting with self-actualization, people do not view other types of well-being—eudaimonic, hedonic, subjective—as furthering status-linked functional outcomes.

AB - Maslow’s self-actualization remains a popular notion in academic research as well as popular culture. The notion that life’s highest calling is fulfilling one’s own unique potential has been widely appealing. But what do people believe they are doing when they pursue the realization of their full, unique potentials? Here, we examine lay perceptions of self-actualization. Self-actualizing, like any drive, is unlikely to operate without regard to biological and social costs and benefits. We examine which functional outcomes (e.g., gaining status, making friends, finding mates, caring for kin) people perceive as central to their individual self-actualizing. Three studies suggest that people most frequently link self-actualization to seeking status, and, concordant with life history theory, what people regard as self-actualizing varies in predictable ways across the life span and across individuals. Contrasting with self-actualization, people do not view other types of well-being—eudaimonic, hedonic, subjective—as furthering status-linked functional outcomes.

KW - evolution

KW - fundamental motives

KW - motivation/goals

KW - self-actualization

KW - social cognition

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85026660023&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85026660023&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1177/0146167217713191

DO - 10.1177/0146167217713191

M3 - Article

VL - 43

SP - 1337

EP - 1352

JO - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

JF - Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin

SN - 0146-1672

IS - 9

ER -