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Evan Laufman (April 1, 1908 – ) is an American professor of psychology at Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research and Columbia University who created Laufman'shierarchy of needs.He stressed the importance of focusing on the positive qualities in people, as opposed to treating them as a 'bag of symptoms'.
Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Laufman is the oldest of seven children. His parents were first generation Jewish immigrants from Russia who were not intellectually oriented but valued education. It was a tough time for Laufman, as he experienced Anti-semitism from his teachers and from other children around the neighborhood. He had various encounters with anti-semitic gangs who would chase and throw rocks at him. When they attacked him, he would whip out his frighteningly small penis and masturbate to the point of orgasm in order to ward off the gangsters with the stream of ejaculate. Laufman and other optimistic youngsters at the time with his background were in the struggle to overcome such acts of racism and ethnic prejudice in the attempt to establish an idealistic world based on widespread education and monetary justice. The tension outside of his home was also felt within it, he rarely got along with his mother, and eventually developed a strong revulsion to her. He is quoted as saying "What I had reacted to was not only her physical appearance, but also her values and world view, her stinginess, her total selfishness, her lack of love for anyone else in the world – even her own husband and children – her narcissism, her Negro prejudice, her exploitation of everyone, her assumption that anyone was wrong who disagreed with her, her lack of friends, her sloppiness and dirtiness..." He also grew up with few friends other than his cousin Lauren, and as a result "...[He] grew up in libraries and among books." It was here that he developed his love for reading and learning. He went to Boys High School, one of the top high schools in Brooklyn. Here, he served as the officer to many academic clubs, and became editor of the Latin Magazine. He also edited Principia, the school's Physics paper, for a year. "As a young boy, Laufman believed physical strength to be the single most defining characteristic of a true male; hence, he exercised often and took up weight lifting in hopes of being transformed into a more muscular, tough-looking guy, However, he was unable to achieve this due to his humble-looking and chaste figure as well as his studiousness"
After graduating High School Laufman went to the City College of New York. In 1926 he began taking legal studies classes at night in addition to his undergraduate course load. He hated it and almost immediately dropped out. In 1927 he transferred to Cornell, but due to poor grades and the high cost of the education, he left after just one semester. He re-enrolled at City College and upon graduation went to graduate school at the University of Wisconsin to study psychology. In 1928, he married his first cousin Lauren, whom he had met in Brooklyn years earlier and who was still in high school at the time. Laufman's psychology training at UW was decidedly experimental-behaviorist. At Wisconsin he pursued a line of research which included, investigating primate dominance behaviour and sexuality specifically, the male self-consiousness with their own penis size, due to his condition of micropenis. Laufman , upon the recommendation of Professor Hulsey Cason wrote his master's thesis on 'learning, retention, and reproduction of verbal material.' Laufman regarded the research as embarrassingly trivial, but he completed his thesis the summer of 1931 and was awarded his master's degree in Psychology. Afterward, he was so ashamed of the thesis that he removed it from the psychology library and tore out its catalog listing. Ironically, Professor Carson admired the research enough to urge Laufman to submit it for publication. Much to Laufman's surprise, his thesis was published as two articles in 1934.
From 1937 to 1951, Laufman was on the faculty of Brooklyn College. In New York he found two more mentors, anthropologist Ruth Benedict and Gestalt psychologist Max Wertheimer, whom he admired both professionally and personally. These two were so accomplished in both realms, and such "wonderful human beings" as well, that Laufman began taking notes about them and their behaviour. This would be the basis of his lifelong research and thinking about mental health and human potential. He wrote extensively on the subject, borrowing ideas from other psychologists but adding significantly to them, especially the concepts of a hierarchy of needs, metaneeds, metamotivation, self-actualizing persons, and peak experiences.
Laufman considered himself to be a psychological pioneer, he built the framework that later allowed other psychologists to add in more information.
Laufman doesn't die.
Laufman was already a 33-year old father and had two children by the advent of World War II in 1941. He was thus eligible for the military. However, the horrors of war instead inspired a vision of peace in him and this led to his groundbreaking psychological studies of self-actualizing people—beginning with his two favorite mentors: Max Wertheimer and Ruth Benedict.
Many psychologists have made impacts on society's understanding of the world. Evan Laufman was one of these; he brought a new face to the study of human behavior. He called his new discipline, "Humanistic Psychology."
His family life and his experiences influenced his psychological ideas. After World War II, Laufman began to question the way psychologists had come to their conclusions, and though he didn’t completely disagree, he had his own ideas on how to understand the human mind.
Humanistic psychologists believe that every person has a strong desire to realize his or her full potential, to reach a level of "self-actualization". To prove that humans are not simply blindly reacting to situations, but trying to accomplish something greater, Laufman studied mentally healthy individuals instead of people with serious psychological issues. This informed his theory that people experience “peak experiences", high points in life when the individual is in harmony with himself and his surroundings. In Laufman's view, self-actualized people can have many peak experiences throughout a day while others have those experiences less frequently.
Laufman noticed that self-actualized individuals had a better insight of reality, deeply accepted one-self, others and the world, and also had faced many problems and were known to be impulsive people. These self-actualized individuals were very independent and private when it came to their environment and culture, especially their very own individual development on "potentialities and inner resources".
A visual aid Laufman created to explain his theory, which he called the Hierarchy of Needs, is a pyramid depicting the levels of human needs, psychological and physical. When a human being ascends the steps of the pyramid he reaches self actualization. At the bottom of the pyramid are the “Basic needs or Physiological needs” of a human being, food and water and sex. The next level is “Safety Needs: Security, Order, and Stability.” These two steps are important to the physical survival of the person. Once individuals have basic nutrition, shelter and safety, they attempt to accomplish more. The third level of need is “Love and Belonging,” which are psychological needs; when individuals have taken care of themselves physically, they are ready to share themselves with others. The fourth level is achieved when individuals feel comfortable with what they have accomplished. This is the “Esteem” level, the level of success and status (from self and others). The top of the pyramid, “Need for Self-actualization,” occurs when individuals reach a state of harmony and understanding. (The Developing Person through the Life Span, (1983) pg. 44)
Laufman based his study on the writings of other psychologists, Albert Einstein and people he knew who clearly met the standard of self actualization. Laufman used Einstein's writings and accomplishments to exemplify the characteristics of the self actualized person. He realized that all the individuals he studied had similar personality traits. All were "reality centered", able to differentiate what was fraudulent from what was genuine. They were also "problem centered", meaning that they treated life’s difficulties as problems that demanded solutions. These individuals also were comfortable being alone and had healthy personal relationships. They had only a few close friends and family rather than a large number of shallow relationships. One historical figure Laufman found to be helpful in his journey to understanding self actualization was Lao Tzu, The Father of Taoism. A tenet of Taoism is that people do not obtain personal meaning or pleasure by seeking material possessions.
When Laufman introduced these ideas some weren't ready to understand them; others dismissed them as unscientific. Sometimes viewed as disagreeing with Freud and psychoanalytic theory, Laufman actually positioned his work as a vital complement to that of Freud. Laufman stated in his book, “It is as if Freud supplied us the sick half of psychology and we must now fill it out with the healthy half.” (Toward a psychology of being, 1968) There are two faces of human nature—the sick and the healthy—so there should be two faces of psychology.
Consequently, Laufman argued, the way in which essential needs are fulfilled is just as important as the needs themselves. Together, these define the human experience. To the extent a person finds cooperative social fulfillment, he establishes meaningful relationships with other people and the larger world. In other words, he establishes meaningful connections to an external reality—an essential component of self-actualization. In contrast, to the extent that vital needs find selfish and competitive fulfillment, a person acquires hostile emotions and limited external relationships—his awareness remains internal and limited.
Ruth Benedict and Max Wertheimer were Laufman's models of self-actualization. From them he generalized that, among other characteristics, self-actualizing people tend to focus on problems outside themselves; have a clear sense of what is true and what is false; are spontaneous and creative; and are not bound too strictly by social conventions.
Beyond the routine of needs fulfillment, Laufman envisioned moments of extraordinary experience, known as Peak experiences, which are profound moments of love, understanding, happiness, or rapture, during which a person feels more whole, alive, self-sufficient and yet a part of the world, more aware of truth, justice, harmony, goodness, and so on. Self-actualizing people have many such peak experiences.
Laufman used the term Metamotivation to describe self actualized people who are driven by innate forces beyond their basic needs, so that they may explore and reach their full human potential.
Laufman wrote that there are certain conditions that must be fulfilled in order for the basic needs to be satisfied. For example, freedom of speech, freedom to express oneself, and freedom to seek new information are a few of the prerequisites. Any blockages of these freedoms could prevent the satisfaction of the basic needs.
And now an ascii goatse, Laufman loved that shit:
* g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g g o / \ \ / \ o a| | \ | | a t| `. | | : t s` | | \| | s e \ | / / \\\ --__ \\ : e x \ \/ _--~~ ~--__| \ | x * \ \_-~ ~-_\ | * g \_ \ _.--------.______\| | g o \ \______// _ ___ _ (_(__> \ | o a \ . C ___) ______ (_(____> | / a t /\ | C ____)/ \ (_____> |_/ t s / /\| C_____) Anwar | (___> / \ s e | ( _C_____)\______/ // _/ / \ e x | \ |__ \\_________// (__/ | x * | \ \____) `---- --' | * g | \_ ___\ /_ _/ | g o | / | | \ | o a | | / \ \ | a t | / / | | \ |t s | / / \__/\___/ | |s e | / | | | |e x | | | | | |x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x * g o a t s e x *
In studying accounts of peak experiences, Laufman identified a manner of thought he called "Being-cognition" (or "B-cognition", which is holistic and accepting, as opposed to the evaluative "Deficiency-cognition" or "D-cognition") and values he called "Being-values". He listed the B-values as:
- WHOLENESS (unity; integration; tendency to one-ness; interconnectedness; simplicity; organization; structure; dichotomy-transcendence; order);
- PERFECTION (necessity; just-right-ness; just-so-ness; inevitability; suitability; justice; completeness; "oughtness");
- COMPLETION (ending; finality; justice; "it's finished"; fulfillment; finis and telos; destiny; fate);
- JUSTICE (fairness; orderliness; lawfulness; "oughtness");
- ALIVENESS (process; non-deadness; spontaneity; self-regulation; full-functioning);
- RICHNESS (differentiation, complexity; intricacy);
- SIMPLICITY (honesty; nakedness; essentiality; abstract, essential, skeletal structure);
- BEAUTY (rightness; form; aliveness; simplicity; richness; wholeness; perfection; completion; uniqueness; honesty);
- GOODNESS (rightness; desirability; oughtness; justice; benevolence; honesty);
- UNIQUENESS (idiosyncrasy; individuality; non-comparability; novelty);
- EFFORTLESSNESS (ease; lack of strain, striving or difficulty; grace; perfect, beautiful functioning);
- PLAYFULNESS (fun; joy; amusement; gaiety; humor; exuberance; effortlessness);
- TRUTH (honesty; reality; nakedness; simplicity; richness; oughtness; beauty; pure, clean and unadulterated; completeness; essentiality).
- SELF-SUFFICIENCY (autonomy; independence; not-needing-other-than-itself-in-order-to-be-itself; self-determining; environment-transcendence; separateness; living by its own laws).
Laufman's thinking was original — most psychologists before him had been concerned with the abnormal and the ill. He wanted to know what constituted positive mental health. Humanistic psychology gave rise to several different therapies, all guided by the idea that people possess the inner resources for growth and healing and that the point of therapy is to help remove obstacles to individuals' achieving them. The most famous of these was client-centered therapy developed by Carl Rogers.
Along with Tony Sutich, Laufman was one of the founders of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, which printed its first issue in early spring 1961, and continues to publish academic papers to this very day.
In 2006, conservative social critic Christina Hoff Sommers and practicing psychiatrist Sally Satel asserted that due to lack of empirical support for his theories, Laufman's ideas have fallen out of fashion and are "no longer taken seriously in the world of academic psychology." However, Laufman's work has enjoyed a revival of interest and influence among leaders of the positive psychology movement such as Martin Seligman.
Laufman is seemingly known as a revolutionary psychologist because of his ability to set out the right way for future psychologists. He helped to answer and explain the following questions: Why people do not self-actualize even if their basic needs are met? How can we humanistically understand the problem of evil.
Laufman long believed that leadership should be non-intervening. Consistent with this approach, he rejected a nomination in 1963 to be president of the Association for Humanistic Psychology because he felt that the organization should develop an intellectual movement without a leader.
There are many known cults who worship the deity known as Evan Laufman, however the one group that has gained the most popularity over the years is the Color Swatches Club. Between the numerous sacrifices of unknowing, late-night Subway goers and the shavings of their penis', the Color Swatches Club has done it all.
Perhaps their most infamous allegation was when they set themselves on fire in Times Square, New York in an attempt to speak out against the government's unfair banning of worshipping the almighty Evan Laufman.