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  1. Constance T. Fischer

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0013

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Fischer, C. T. 2010. Actualization. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. Duquesne University

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


The general common meaning of actualization is moving from potential into reality–actuality. Actualization is broadly valued in American culture, as is evident in the saying that anyone can become president, and in a recent army advertisement campaign urging potential recruits to “Be all that you can be.” In American psychology, self-actualization has come to refer to a person's bringing into reality his or her own potential for a richly fulfilling, open, and appreciative life. In most recent times, actualization is more explicitly coming to include moving beyond self to identifying with humanity, nature, and the cosmos.


  • humanistic psychology;
  • self-actualization;
  • transcendence