The development and validation of a self-report measure of self-actualization
Richard Lefrancois, Gilbert Leclerc, M. Dube, Rejean Hebert, and Philippe Gaulin (Sherbrooke Geriatric University Institute), 1997, 25(4), 353–366

Abraham Maslow’s concept of self-actualization has been very useful in describing fully-functioning individuals, i.e., people who are mentally and psychologically healthy.  This concept has been influential in opening up the currently strong focus on positive psychology.

Shostrom’s Personal Orientation Inventory (POI), developed in 1975 and 1976, has been a widely used measurement instrument for self-actualization.  However a range of concerns have emerged.  A number of studies show that the POI has insufficient validity and reliability for research use.  It is also argued that many statements in the POI are ambiguous and not adapted for older people or for people with less education.

In this paper, Dr Lefrancois and his co-workers describe the process to develop and validate a new measure of self-actualization, the Measure of Actualization of Potential (MAP). They report three of their studies.

Study 1 describes the item selection carried out by means of a literature review.  In Study 2, construct validity was established with a sample of 414 subjects. A principal components analysis with oblique rotation yielded a 5-factor solution. A second-order factor analysis revealed two major components, “self-reference” and “openness to experience” In Study 3 a full scale Cronbach’s alpha of .90 was achieved. 

In launching their new instrument in this SBP Journal article, the authors argue that the MAP has stronger theoretical and empirical backing than the POI, as well as stronger psychometric properties.

Robert A. C. (Bob) Stewart, PhD | Editor-in-Chief
Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal