Maslow And Developing A Creative Life

There are many amazing theories on creativity and it's benefits. Today, I want to focus on some of Robert Maslow's research.

Robert Maslow is a Humanist Psychologist who developed this pyramid of human needs. He believes people are on a quest to reach their fullest potential and need to pursue all parts of the pyramid in order to achieve it.

Creativity is at the top and includes participation in the arts. In the video below he speaks of peak experiences which occur at the top of the pyramid. Similar to Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory on flow, which I'll need to explore more in another post, these peak experiences are times when you're fully engaged in the moment when everything feels clear and perfect.

In this article from 1963 he states, "...Education-Through-Art, may be especially important not so much for turning out artists or art products, as for turning out better people." What he is focused on here is the fact that students (of all ages) need to learn more than facts and figures, instead they need to learn how to think differently, how to improvise, and approach unexpected challenges with confidence.

Some critics argue that there is no hard and fast evidence supporting his theory. However, supporters appreciate his direction towards the positive and the empowering effect it has on people's psychology.