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  1. #1
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Default Criticism of Abraham Maslow

    Anyone know of good criticism of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs?

  2. #2
    your resident asshole
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    Disclaimer: I am pulling this straight from Wikipedia

    A man named Geert Hofstede seemed to say that the hierarchy represents needs of those in an individualistic society (i.e. the US). Collectivist societies (i.e. China) place a greater emphasis on community. Thus the "self-actualization" position may not hold true for them.

    Two people named Wahba and Bridwell appear to disagree with the pyramid entirely, but the citation unfortunately leads to a source that exists offline.

    Apparently some people also disagree with the placement of sex.

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    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Disclaimer: I am pulling this straight from Wikipedia

    A man named Geert Hofstede seemed to say that the hierarchy represents needs of those in an individualistic society (i.e. the US). Collectivist societies (i.e. China) place a greater emphasis on community. Thus the "self-actualization" position may not hold true for them.

    Two people named Wahba and Bridwell appear to disagree with the pyramid entirely, but the citation unfortunately leads to a source that exists offline.

    Apparently some people also disagree with the placement of sex.
    Whether its a basic need or a need at all?

    I am interested in whether or not people think that needs can be conceived on in a hierarchy? Is hierarchising needs the same as identifying priorities? Is it possible to conceive of a universally more or less accurate hierarchy or tendency towards prioritisation?

    Some of the criticism I'm read tends towards discussing cultural specifics, national cultures, ethno-cultural differences, subcultures within a given cultural context but while they may differ on what constitutes self-actualisation (denying it altogether is a new one to me though) they still have a sort of hierarchy and prioritisation in mind, even if they say they dont and arent thinking that way.

    I wonder if this is one of those concepts that the more you criticise it or attempt to the more you seem to vindicate it or validate it in some way.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Anyone know of good criticism of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs?
    After reading his theory on Hierarchy of Needs Explains Why Some Children Fail it seems like that there is nothing wrong i found.

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    Artisan Conquerer Halla74's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Anyone know of good criticism of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs?
    Haven't really pondered on it.
    Tell me, do you think that you or anyone else would be able to accomplish a whole lot else in life without a steady supply of food and water?

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Disclaimer: I am pulling this straight from Wikipedia

    A man named Geert Hofstede seemed to say that the hierarchy represents needs of those in an individualistic society (i.e. the US). Collectivist societies (i.e. China) place a greater emphasis on community. Thus the "self-actualization" position may not hold true for them.
    The "pyramid top" of an individualist from a collectivist society might be overall harmony in their communities.
    Seems like a simple substitution to account for individualist/collectivist differences.
    Take food and water away from the Chinese and see how quickly their emphasis on community is affected.
    The base of the pyramid, and the middle, holds true for all people, IMHO, it's what's at the top that is variable.

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyGeek View Post
    Apparently some people also disagree with the placement of sex.
    They aren't getting any, that's why they are bitching about it.



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  6. #6
    Senior Member Survive & Stay Free's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Halla74 View Post
    Haven't really pondered on it.
    Tell me, do you think that you or anyone else would be able to accomplish a whole lot else in life without a steady supply of food and water?
    I think its relatively legitimate as theories or conceptualisations go, in fact I've been thinking more lately that some sort of reductive or simplification of theories is necessary to understand some of them clearly or accurately (?), for instance if you consider Maslow as you have here it makes perfect sense.

    I like to see how certain apparently water tight or obvious theories can be critiqued though, not in a sort of navel gazing or for the badness sort of way like some deconstructionism or post-modernism, that's all bullshit, but sometimes indepth questioning or analysis of received wisdom is a good idea. It doesnt mean the received wisdom will not be found to be wise or perrenial in any case though just because it is questioned.

    The thing about sex is whether or not it should be placed as a fundamental need or not, like water, food, shelter, people can live for a long time without sex, they can choose to abstain or abstain simply because they dont have that option, they could be asexual, they could see it as an obsticle in the way of enlightenment or physical or spiritual goals. That would seem to be a fair but minor criticism of Maslow's theory.

    The fact that individuals pyramids differ, under the influences of culture or other factors, and its hard to generalise does not mean its not a good idea to have the theory or theorise at all though.

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    In future we will see more criticism coming for this chain.

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