A Critical Evaluation of Maslow Theory

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Maslow's hierarchy needs theory has both pros and cons. According to his theory only few people are able to achieve self-actualization without fulfilling other needs. According to his theory an individual cannot become fully self-actualized without satisfying one’s physiological needs, without love, without a sense of belonging, without self-esteem. Some would oppose this theory. Some might think that the things he defined as needs are not really needs. No one can deny that food, air, shelter are needs, but may disagree that esteem, love, artistic expression are not needs but desires. Some may even argue that self-actualization is not essential to being a happy or successful person. One of the disadvantages of his theory is its inflexibility. One person should be able to satisfy one level of need first before moving up to another level. For example one cannot move from Social needs but for satisfying the need for love and belongingness. Second, One need is activated at a time. An individual cannot fulfil all needs at the same time.

On the other hand this theory sets out simply how to tackle life. With this theory I have found that it becomes clearer what an individual is trying to achieve and importantly why an individual is trying to achieve it. Its a step by step process which helps individuals to understand their needs and it also helps in identifying one’s needs. There is little evidence to suggest that people are motivated to satisfy only one need level at a time, except in situations where there is a conflict between needs.
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