Free «Fallacies and Fault in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs» Essay Sample

According to the psychologist; Maslow, human beings have ascending needs. He placed the needs in a pyramid according to their importance. Apparently, the needs in the lowest part of the pyramid had to be fulfilled before the next needs are met. The lowest and basic of all needs are the physiological needs followed by safety, love, esteem and eventually self actualization.

As per the information herein, human beings concentrate on fulfilling one need before they concentrate on another. The article seems to insinuate that at no point will any need overlap with another. It is possible for needs to overlap. A good example is a working mother who is pursuing higher education. Here, the mother gets love, support and acceptance from her family, and at the same time, she is fulfilling a physiological need by pursuing further education.

Another fallacy is seen in how needs are grouped based on consequences rather than intent. Maslow said that for a higher need to be met, the lower one in the hierarchy should be fulfilled. However, sometimes human beings fulfill needs for the sake of satisfaction. This is the consequence. For instance; a baby does not feed in order to feel loved. The baby feeds in order to satisfy the need of hunger. He has no other intention after that.

There is no evidence of scientific research in this theory. As such, the theory is non- applicable in today’s scientific world. Maslow failed to consider that we are all different in how we categorize our needs. Had he used a scientific method of gathering evidence, probably the results would have been more applicable. For instance; it is not surprising to find a woman who prefers to advance her career as compared to getting married to the man of her dreams. In this case, the need for esteem has been given a priority. This is a fault of the article.

According to the article, a person reaches self actualization when they are concerned with personal growth. They have an increased passion to improve others while disregarding all negative thoughts. The pertinent question is how to identify such a person. It remains an unanswered question as there is no scientific way of testing the level of self actualization. It is almost impossible to identify the reasons behind his considerations of people who are self actualized. He tested very few individuals before making his conclusions. There should be a specific scientific way of testing the level of self actualization.

The article claims that Maslow’s theory has been used to evaluate and solve addiction in several ways. Apparently, addiction can be caused by delusion that the abused substance is a physiological need and it also fulfills their security needs. The consideration of Maslow’s theory in this way is a fault. Addiction can be caused by other social factors including peer pressure. The causes of addiction are as varied as the individuals themselves keeping in mind that they come from different backgrounds. Therefore, it is impossible to explain addiction using Maslow’s theory.

It is obvious that Maslow’s theory is ethno central. He focused largely on the western culture making the whole theory too simplistic. He used subjects from his immediate surrounding while avoiding people who come from low income backgrounds. For instance; people like Albert Einstein had access to all the physiological needs stated in his theory. However, a peasant farmer may not have considered shelter as important. Therefore, the article’s claims cannot be substantiated as they lack scientific background. The evidence provided is not viable for all individuals; it only covers a certain population. Various factors come into play when it comes to placing needs in a hierarchy.


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