Sep 6, 2019 in Analysis

Despite the fact that the works of Abraham Maslow have never been positively welcomed by the academic community, his theories nevertheless are highly respected by the communities of practicing psychologists and even economists. The objective of this paper is to outline the most important concepts of his theoretical study, to highlight its strongest points and to identify the academic imperfections thereof, with the focus put on the practical application of Maslow's academic endeavors.

The first thing the economics students ponder over is the famous Maslow's pyramid of needs. Indeed, it was a revolutionary psychological step to classify the priorities of the humanity in a hierarchical order, advocating the idea that until the basic needs are satisfied, the more complex and sophisticated ones are of no use. Naturally, it is legitimate to assume that the physical needs like nourishment, health, housing and clothing are the basis of our existence, while our emotional satisfaction is the runner-up. This paradigm identifies five sections of the typical needs in hierarchical order attributable to a human being, which are physiological, safety, love and belonging, esteem and self-actualization (Frager & Fadiman, 2012). However, it should be emphasized that the author failed to attribute the desire to be important to the list of esteem items. Subsequent psychological studies confirmed that Abraham Maslow underestimated the importance of the desire to be significant, which should have been placed before love and sense of belonging. This partial refutation of his pyramid has been empirically proven by the outstanding United States human relations advisor Dale Carnegie.

The strongest points of the Maslow's theoretical framework are the concepts of grumbles, meta-grumbles and self-actualization. The author aptly identified the fact that it is impossible to eliminate all our complaints (Frager & Fadiman, 2012). However, with our progress and development as human beings, our complaints, both of grumbles and meta- grumble natures, should evolve and become more sophisticated and complex. Moreover, the concept of self-actualization precisely describes the needs of a particular individual; and his statement that this characteristic is different for every person has been proven by the works of his followers. My firm opinion is that the legitimacy of these postulates is affirmed by the fact that analyzing self-actualization issues of the patient lies in the vortex of any psychological therapy prescribed nowadays.

The theoretical framework and conceptual apparatus developed by professor Maslow is of immense importance for the needs of the practitioners, although in his works he contradicts with the personality theories developed by Sigmund Freud and professor Bandura. However, identifying the needs of the patient and classifying them happened to be of more practical value then the analysis of Freud's driving forces (the desire to be powerful and sexual gratification aspect).

The practice every day affirms the validity of Maslow's academic postulates. Observing the behavior of my fellow students I found out that indeed their educational aspirations ( those, that can be attributed to the section of self-actualizing) cannot be successfully satisfied, unless their physiological needs are addressed by them accordingly. In other words, it is impossible to study effectively unless you have been sleep deprived for 20 hours. Even if some aspect of this hierarchical pyramid is prioritized deliberately, it is impossible to cultivate a skill attributed to esteem section, when more fundamental areas are left without proper attention.

Moreover, observing and analyzing the criminal practice, it becomes evident that the judges subconsciously integrate the findings of Maslow into their decisions. For instance, in the case R v Dudley and Stephens, the Queens court of the United Kingdom acquitted the alleged cannibals on the basis that the sailors, who suffered from ship wreckage and had no other means to feed themselves, other thn to eat their mate. The judges recognized that under those circumstances there were no other viable means to satisfy their physiological needs.

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