Hierarchy of Needs and Behaviorist Theories on Humans

Topics: Motivation, Psychology, Maslow's hierarchy of needs Pages: 3 (925 words) Published: September 21, 2015


Maslow vs Skinner
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On a basic level human beings seem to have two states: full and empty, satisfied and unsatisfied. When human beings are full and satisfied they can avoid situations and offers that might lead them into danger. For example: if you are a wealthy person you wouldn't agree to rob a bank with your friends because they needed money. You wouldn't scower trash cans and dumpsters looking for food if you had a full fridge at home. The other side of the coin is empty and unsatisfied which equals “no holds barred” in terms of offers and actions. In other words you will do anything it takes to become full again and we know this word to be desperation.

There are many explanations for why people behave the way they do and what motivates them. For the purposes of this discussion we will focus on Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Skinner's behaviorist theory. According to Maslow human beings have five basic needs that must be addressed in order for the person to be satisfied. If one or all of these levels of needs are not met then the individual will behave outside his or her character in order to get those needs met (Boeree 2006). Skinner's view was different his focus was on human behavior as a result of previous direct that was repeatedly presented to the individual (NIU.edu).

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Skinner's Behaviorist Theory
Deficit in needs drives people to fulfill those needs – this is the motivation (Boeree 2006). Learning and reinforcement are the motivators for human behavior (NIU.edu). Physiological needs - the right temperature and avoiding pain (Boeree 2006) Current observations reveal the previous reinforcements (NIU.edu). Safety and security needs - stability and structure (Boeree 2006) Everything is associated with either positive or negative reinforcement (NIU.edu). Love and belonging needs - intimate relationships/fear of loneliness (Boeree 2006) A...

References: Boeree, C. George. (2006). Abraham Maslow 1908-1970. Retrieved July 7, 2011, from http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/maslow.html
NASPonline.org. (2003). Motivating Learning in Young Children. Retrieved July 8, 2011, from http://www.nasponline.org/resources/home_school/earlychildmotiv_ho.aspx
NIU.edu. BF Skinner, Behaviorism, & Language Behavior. Retrieved July 7, 2011, from http://www3.niu.edu/acad/psych/Millis/History/2003/cogrev_skinner.htm
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