Maslow's hierarchy of human needs

23 Mar 2015

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Question 1

Abraham Maslow is revered as a great psychologist who lived from 1908 to 1970. He is renowned for the Maslow's hierarchy of human needs. He came up with 5 levels of human needs. On the lowest quadrant of the pyramid lay the physiological needs which entailed food, sexual activity and breathing. Maslow considered these needs to be very basic and an essential for every human being. The next level of needs was the safety needs which encompass both financial and personal security as well as health and the well being of an individual. As the pyramid advances, there are other greater needs that human beings desire such as love and affection, esteem and self actualization. These needs are satisfied in order of their hierarchy such that one would not satisfy a high need without first satisfying a lower need within the Maslow hierarchy need.

Maslow hierarchy of needs is indeed imperative in that it illuminates the most important and the least important needs of human beings. Through this theory, we are able to identify the most basic human needs. In addition, Maslow's hierarchy of needs enables us to gain a succinct understanding of the theory of motivation. Most times, managers would first of all seek to meet the basic needs of their employees so that they can be able to motivate their employees to higher levels.

Critics on the other hand suggest that human needs cannot be classified into hierarchies as Maslow did. A onetime philosopher argues that people are diverse and have different needs that they consider as basic. The hierarchy can therefore not be considered to be universal. What one considers to be a fundamental need may not be fundamental to another. Maslow was criticized for testing a small sample of about 100 students to come up with the hierarchy of human needs. The limited testing cannot therefore be construed to be sufficient.

Question 2

In this experiment, patients with depression shall be sampled. A sample of 40 patients under new medication and suffering from depression will be taken. The effectiveness of the patients' new medication against depression will be measured by determining the changes in behavior among the 40 patients.


This study seeks to establish the effectiveness of new medication for treating depression

Random assignment of participants

The sample of 40 patients suffering from depression will be sampled from different hospitals across the state of Texas. These patients will consist of those suffering from depression and are using the new medication.

The patients will be monitored for about a week to establish the effectiveness of the new medication.

Independent variable

The period of time for administering the new medication to patients with depression

Dependent variable

The rate of healing of the patients with depression

The quantity of drugs administered to the patients suffering from depression

Ethical guidelines

Here, we shall monitor the patient's improvement in terms of their behavior. The patients sampled will be monitored for a period of one week.

Question 3

Psychology is the study of the mental mind and the disciplines and theories that surround the mental mind. Psychology therefore does not merely study the mental process but also encompasses the behavior of human beings and the likely effects that this behavior has to both the individual and the environment at large.

Question 4

Operant conditioning implies using results to modify behavior towards the desired direction. This principle entails altering behavior that is based on the environment through first changing the environment. Drinking alcohol and driving can be changed via operant conditioning. This can be changed through making it illegal to drink and drive as well as closing drinking joints early.

Positive reinforcement entails introducing an action that encourages the occurrence of a certain behavior. For instance, withdrawing law pertaining to drinking and driving is a positive reinforcement. On the other hand, negative reinforcement involves introducing behavior that inhibits the commission of a certain behavior; for instance, in the above example, introducing gadgets that will be used to detect drunk drivers on the road. This helps in shaping the behavior of drinking groups within the society. Negative reinforcement also leads to the extinction of undesired behavior. Reinforcing laws against drunk driving is also negative reinforcement.

Punishment is one way of discouraging behavior. It is thus an effective way of limiting operant conditioning. Reinforcement cannot be effectively done at once. There is need for a schedule of reinforcement which indicates how the undesired behavior will be altered.


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