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ERIC Number: ED251370
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Pages: 10
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Students' Peak Experiences: Yes, Psychology Deals with Happiness, Too.
Polyson, James
Based on Maslow's characteristics of a "peak experience," 162 students in three introductory psychology classes and one personality class were asked to write a two-page paper describing a personal "peak experience." Papers were graded based on adherence to requirements, ability to apply Maslow's construct of the peak experience, and writing quality. After papers were graded, excerpts were read aloud with the exception of those requesting exemption from presentation (17 percent). Student questionnaires assessing the value of the assignment indicated the following: (1) 65 percent felt the assignment was "quite worthwhile," (2) 99 percent rated the assignment as either "quite interesting" or "somewhat interesting," (3) 93 percent agreed that the assignment was consistent with personal goals for the class, (4) 96 percent thought the assignment should be repeated the following semester, and (5) 95 percent felt the assignment facilitated their learning of Maslow's theories concerning peak experience. Further analysis of the papers indicated that most of the peak experiences had occurred during athletic, artistic, religious, or nature experiences, or during intimate moments with a friend or family member. Achievement of an important personal or collective goal or the overcoming of some adversity or danger represented other peak experiences. It is concluded that such an assignment encourages students to integrate affect and intellect, consistent with Carl Roger's views on the exploration of feelings as an integral part of academic learning. (LH)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Maslow (Abraham); Peak Experiences
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (92nd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 24-28, 1984).