Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Around World War II, psychologist Abraham Maslow decided to consider mentally healthy people, to balance out study of mental pathologies. In 1943, he published his conclusions in “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review. He proposed that we have a hierarchy of needs, from the physiological to the transcendent: Maslow’s hierarchy of needs – Wikipedia, Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Simply Psychology, Abraham Maslow and Happiness, What Is Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy?

This hierarchy is often depicted as layers of a pyramid. From bottom to top:

  1. Physiological: breathing, food, water, sex, sleep, homeostasis, excretion
  2. Safety: security of body, employment, resources, morality, family, health, property
  3. Love and Belonging: friendship, family, sexual intimacy
  4. Esteem: self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others
  5. Self-actualization: morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts

Continue reading


Isaac Asimov on Searching for Information

In my earlier post, “Books: The Ancient and Ultimate Document Viewer?”, I had commented on Isaac Asimov’s belief that that’s what physical books are, and I had pointed out some important deficiencies of them. One of them is searchability. But IA himself had written on this problem.

n 1955, he wrote “The Sound of Panting” (in “Only a Trillion”). The panting that he described was for him as he tried to keep up with the biochemistry literature.

In 1964, he wrote Asimov Suggests Science of Data | News | The Harvard Crimson

Science’s rapid accumulation of data, Asimov said, has created the need for a new branch of science, information retrieval. The new field, he said, should attempt to make the data scientists need available to them simply “by pushing the right button.”

Regaling his audience with a Jackie Masonesque style, Asimov then launched into a lengthy example of how Mendel’s theories of heredity were overlooked for a generation, the delay producing misconceptions that may ultimately have led to two world wars.

He also wrote about that in one of his science essays.

Continue reading

Books: The Ancient and Ultimate Document Viewer?

Isaac Asimov once wrote an essay called “The Ancient and the Ultimate” (collected in “The Tragedy of the Moon” and “Asimov on Science”). He wrote it in response to the notion that some high-tech document viewer like video cassettes might someday replace books. He considers what might be the ultimate document viewer. One that is totally powered by its user, that does not need any external energy source, that is very portable, and that is very unobtrusive. He asks when we might get such a viewer.

I have an answer for that, too, and a quite definite one. We will have it in minus five thousand years–because what I have been describing… is a book!

Or is it?

Continue reading

The Big Five: In the Professional Literature

Counting search-engine hits is a rather crude way of estimating the interest that the scientific community has in various theories, but it is a rather simple one.

I find with it that the Big Five personality model has by far the most hits among the personality models that I surveyed. Myers-Briggs got only 1/10 of its hits, HEXACO (Big Five + Honesty/Humility) 2%, and the enneagram (nine personality types) 1%.

So if you want to take an online personality quiz, take a Big Five one. If anything, I find it easier to interpret than Myers-Briggs. But if you want to take a Myers-Briggs one, look for one that returns continuous values. Binary ones, ones like extrovert or introvert with nothing in between, are pretty much worthless.

Continue reading

The Big Five: Subtraits

Drew D’Agostino, in his series starting with Are personality differences real? An introduction to personality neuroscience., not only discusses supertraits of the Big Five but also subtraits or aspects of them (Allen_DeYoung_FFM_neuroscience.pdf – Google Drive). Bálint Kőszegi in THE FIVE UNIVERSAL SUPERTRAITS OF THE HUMAN PERSONALITY mentions some sub-subtraits of the Big Five, some NEO facets. Below the fold is a combined list, using DDA’s descriptions of the subtraits.

Continue reading

The Big Five: Supertraits

Drew D’Agostino has a nice series on the Big Five personality traits: Are personality differences real? An introduction to personality neuroscience.. In Personality Neuroscience #4: The Big Five personality traits, DDA worked from Metatraits of the Big Five differentially predict engagement and restraint of behavior. – PubMed – NCBI and noted that the Big Five are not completely independent, but instead fall into two clusters: stability and plasticity. Each one is associated with its own neurotransmitter,

Continue reading

Transgender-Identity Infographic

I have composed an infographic that depicts my understanding of transgender identity and what I think is a mistake that some transpeople make. It is after the fold for brevity in the main page.

Continue reading