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Maslow's Hierarchy of Motives - Essay Example

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This paper Maslow's Hierarchy of Motives talks that Maslow’s proposed his theory of needs in 1943. His theory on human motivation concludes that human being have a certain needs, which they seek and then move on to the higher needs creating a hierarchy. …
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Maslows hierarchy of motives Maslow’s proposed his theory of needs in 1943. His theory on human motivation concludes that human being have a certainneeds, which they seek and then move on to the higher needs creating a hierarchy.
Maslow’s thinks, that the basic need for human being is to get food and comfort and which has the highest priority, lack of these needs will jeopardize all other needs and can change people behaviour. The second set of needs is related to safety and enables a society to function properly. The third layer of needs deals with the fulfillment of social needs, such as friendship, relationships, clubs, religious group, which creates a feeling of being wanted and accepted by members of a society. Lack of which can lead to loneliness and anxiety. Esteem needs are of two types: the need of self-respect and the need for recognition. According to Maslow, the self-actualizing people accept facts and reality with open mind rather than denying it. These people are creative and are spontaneous in expression of their ideas and action and are able to solve not only their own problems, but others as well
Criticism
No doubt Maslow theory of needs have contributed a lot to understand human behaviour, however the needs process is not as straightforward as described. For example many intellectuals have produced exceptional work, while they suffered from mental illness, such as Galileo and Nietzsche. Maslow also mentioned that people would put often-lower needs first than the higher needs. However in the stories of prophets and mystics, the basic needs such as hunger, safety and sex are suppressed, and more attention is paid to higher needs. The reason for following such trend is that the belief is such societies not on the society, but faith on God, who is held responsible for fulfilling all needs. The Christian celibacy is also one such example, which may seem denial of sexual needs, but its basic intention is to overcome the human urges and allow the priests to focus on God.

The perception of motivation and needs also changes from one culture to another. For example according to Buddhism suffering is essential to reach Nirvana (ideal peace), which negates the theory of needs. The Indian culture is still based on caste system. A person born in a lower caste is unable to change his status no matter, how much he tries. Similarly certain mystics, such as the whirling dervish, followers of Maulana Rumi also consider suffering as a motivation to reach God or ideal state and suppressing of basic needs is essential to reach higher state. Majority of the world religions emphasis on suppressing the needs of hunger and sex, and orders its followers to indulge directly in philanthropic activities, as these needs are more essential to bring peace and happiness in a society rather than fulfilling personal needs.
There is still need to study Maslow’s findings and discover its application in modern day business and workplace, which empower people by offering salaries, compensation and other benefits in different forms. Such incentives are some times successful and at other time they do not work.
Conclusion
Maslow theory of is helpful in examining certain human behaviour, however it is based on personal experience. Values are not absolute; they change from time to time and place to place. The human needs in the time of Greeks and Romans were different from today’s needs. Even today, the needs in the primitive societies of Amazon are different from the needs a person living in a modern city. Human needs and behaviour changes from society to society and are much more complex than it is considered.
Reference
Goble, Frank. The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1970

Liebert, Robert M. & Spiegler, Michael D.. Personalities: Strategies and Issues (6th Ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole Publishing Company, 1990 Read More
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