The Nature of Motivation: Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and Criticisms of Maslow's Work

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Motivation is a Complex Phenomenon

  • Motives can’t be observed, only inferred from behavior of others

  • Some motives remain active even when original goal is attained

Motivation is a complex phenomenon

Motivation is a Complex Phenomenon

Maslow’S Hierarchy of Needs

  • Explained essential needs for healthy psychological development

  • Needs tend to be hierarchical

  • Lower needs associated with essential survival and social relations

  • Higher needs associated with self-esteem and fulfillment

  • Deficiency needs: Must be satisfied to ensure existence and security; (lower order needs) include physiological, safety, social needs

  • Growth needs: Concerned with personal development and realization of one’s potential; (high order needs) includes esteem and self-actualization.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’S Hierarchy of Needs

Criticisms of Maslow’S Work

  • Center on the basis of his work with neurotic patients

  • The hierarchy he proposes may not be consistent for all individuals

The Theory of Needs

The Theory of Needs

David McClelland proposed that three learned needs motivate behavior. The need for achievement (nAch) is the need to excel, to achieve in relation to a set of standards, to succeed. The need for power (nPow) is the need to make others behave in ways in which they would not have behaved otherwise. The need for affiliation (nAff) is the desire for interpersonal relationships. He believed that these needs are acquired from the culture of a society.

Traits of High-Need Achievers

  • Set moderately difficult goals and make moderately risky decisions

  • Want immediate and specific performance feedback

  • Preoccupied with task

  • Assume personal responsibility

Traits of High-Need Affiliators

  • Desire reassurance and approval from others

  • Genuine concern for feelings of others

  • Conform to the wishes of others, especially those with whom they desire friendship.

Traits of Those with High Need for Power

  • Try to influence others

  • Seek position of leadership

  • Verbally fluent, talkative

    • Personal orientation – dominate for sake of dominating

    • Institutionalized orientation – more concerned with the good of the organization.

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