Brief Index of Self-Actualization: A Measure of Maslow's Model

Sumerlin, John R.; Bundrick, Charles M.
June 1996
Journal of Social Behavior & Personality;Jun96, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p253
Academic Journal
A 40-item Brief Index of Self-Actualization was developed from Sumerlin's 65-item Personal Attitude Survey. The new instrument was developed wholly from Maslow's composite writings to measure his self-actualization model. The Personal Attitude Survey is composed of items written to capture 11 features that Abraham Maslow used to describe a self-actualized person (e.g., autonomy, comfort with solitude, and courage). Principal components analysis reduced the 11 features to seven factors: Core Self-Actualization, Jonah Complex, Curiosity, Comfort with Solitude, Openness to Experience, Democratic Character, and Life Meaning and Purpose. The Brief Index had high positive correlations with Jones and Crandall's Short Index of Self-Actualization. Alpha was .87 and two-week test-retest reliability was .89. Known-groups methodology was used to determine construct validity with scores on the factors Core Self-Actualization and Democratic Character higher in a group of college men compared to a subsample of unsheltered homeless men with some college. Hence, Maslow's speculation that unsatisfied deficiency needs hinder movement toward self-actualization was supported.


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