Term of Award

Spring 2008

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

William D. McIntosh

Committee Member 1

Lawrence Locker

Committee Member 2

Edward W. Smith


This research investigated essential components of optimal human functioning. An anarchist model was used to emphasize the autonomous nature of an optimally functioning self. Utilizing Abraham Maslows hierarchy of needs model, Leonard Martins ID compensation theory, fundamental principles of anarchist theory and environmental feedback paradigms it has been shown that time spent during backpacking experiences in the wilderness may simulate immediate return social systems, allow for recognition of need fulfillment and ultimately increase self-actualization. In addition it was shown that materialism, via an ownership index, is negatively correlated with actualization. Utilizing a backward regression analysis the resulting model supports the hypothesis that immediate return social systems as well as anti-materialist sentiments contribute to optimal function as indicated by the Short Index of Self Actualization. The results lend support to the anarchist theory of self as a meta model of optimal human function, socially as well as individually.

Research Data and Supplementary Material