Difference Between Maslow and Rogers

Maslow vs Rogers

Knowing the difference between Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers and their humanistic theory could be of interest to you if you are in the field of psychology. Abraham Maslow and Carl Rogers are two of the founders of Humanistic psychology. Humanistic psychology is an approach to psychology that focuses on positive mental health, the ability that individuals possess to grow and of their inner strength and qualities. Unlike in most approaches that highlight on the abnormalities of individuals, humanistic highlights on positive mentality. However, there are differences within the approach itself. This can be seen through the self-actualization theories of Maslow and Rogers. While Maslow fully acknowledges the self-actualization of individuals to their very self, Rogers takes this a step further by emphasizing on the necessity of the surrounding, which assists a person to be self-actualized. Through this piece of writing let us try to understand the key ideas of Maslow, Rogers and the differences between their ideas.

What is Abraham Maslow Theory?

Abraham Maslow was a famous American psychologist who engaged in much research about the human mind concentrating on people through a humanistic approach. He is world renowned for his Hierarchy of Needs. This is a set of needs that is presented in the form of a pyramid. An individual first has to accomplish the needs at the bottom of the pyramid in order to go to the next level. At the very bottom of the pyramid we find physiological needs, then safety needs, love and belonging needs, esteem needs, and finally the need for self-actualization at the very top. Maslow was very interested about self-actualization. Self-actualization is where an individual gains the highest form of human potential allowing the person to be in harmony with himself, others and the world around. Maslow identified particular qualities of such people such as uniqueness, simplicity, self-sufficiency, justice, goodness, sense of completion, etc. Also, he paid attention to a concept called peak experiences that were seen more often in self-actualized people than in others. This is an instance where a person would be in complete acceptance and accordance of with self and surrounding which allows them to enjoy life more profoundly.

What is Carl Rogers Theory?

Rogers was also an American psychologist whose contribution to humanistic psychology was immense. Rogers’ view of people was very positive. He believed people to be inherently good and creative. His theories are formed in such a background. Mainly as we speak of Carl Rogers there are essential concepts that need to be learnt in order to understand Rogerian perspective. First is his concept of self. Rogers believed that self was made up of three parts: the ideal self (what a person aspires to be), self image (the real self) and self worth (the self esteem a person has).

Secondly, Rogers believed that when a person’s self-image and ideal self are similar a state of congruence occurs. So congruence is when what a person wants to be and who he is at the present are close enough and consistent. If this person is congruent, then there is a possibility for him to achieve a state of self-actualization, which is the highest potential a person can obtain through unconditional positive regard. Unconditional positive regard is when a person is truly loved and cherished for who he is without any restrictions. This can have a huge impact on a person’s personality development allowing him to be self-actualized.

Difference Between Maslow and Rogers

What is the difference between Maslow and Rogers Theories?

When examining the similarities and differences between the theories of personality of Maslow and Rogers, a striking similarity between the two is the stress laid on looking at people through a positive outlook, emphasizing on their inner qualities and capability to grow. However, the difference between the two psychologists can be identified in their theories of self-actualization.

• Maslow fully acknowledges the self-actualization of individuals to their very self. Rogers does not credit the individual only for self-actualization but emphasize on the necessity of the environment especially through empathy, genuineness, and acceptance of others that result in a condition for growth.

Images Courtesy:

  1. Carl Rogers by  Didius (CC BY 2.5)