PSY 101 Psychology

PSY 101 Psychology

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PSY 101 Psychology

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PSY 101 Psychology

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Course Code: PSY101
University: Canadian University Dubai is not sponsored or endorsed by this college or university

Country: United Arab Emirates


Write about a well known psychology theorist and one of his studies, for example cognitive psychology, anxiety, and such.


Abraham Maslow, an American renowned psychologist born in 1908, was a psychologist who carried a lot of studies throughout his professional life on primates, but after acquiring his Ph.D., he primarily focused on studying theories on human motivation (Kermally, 2005). Abraham Maslow was a psychology professor in various universities including Brooklyn College and Columbia University. According to a survey conducted in 2002, Maslow was ranked as the 10th most cited Psychologist in the 20th century. In 1943, Maslow proposed a theory known as Maslow’s hierarchy of needs in his paper titled “theory of human motivation.” The study arose as a concern where Maslow wanted to know why most people did not self-actualize even after having met their basic needs. Before this study, other researchers primarily focused on other aspects not related to motivation in order to portray what sustains and directs human behavior (Huitt, 2011). Maslow’s theory, however with some modifications, is still valid in this modern day’s understanding on human motivation. For managers, the theory has become fundamental for providing insight on what motivates people or what makes them tick.
In his study, Maslow desired to identify what motivated individuals since he believed that people had various motivation systems which were not primarily related to unconscious desires and rewards. Therefore, in his paper, he indicated that individuals were motivated to attain specific kinds of needs. For example, when a need is fulfilled for a particular individual, the individual will seek to fulfill another need and so on. Besides, while conducting the study on human motivation, he studied exemplary people such as Jane Addams, Albert Einstein, Fredrick Douglass, and Eleanor Roosevelt (McLeod, 2007). Maslow also studied about 1% of the healthiest college student population.
In relation to Maslow’s theory on human motivation, each individual is motivated by needs which are innate (Kermally, 2005). Maslow presented the needs in a pyramid form which consisted of five level of needs. The needs were categorized as physiological needs, safety needs, belonging and love, esteem needs, and self-actualization needs. In addition, the needs are structured hierarchically since they act as motivators. Their structure/arrangement is dependent on both priority and urgency to persons. The lowest two levels of needs are deemed as basic needs, the upper two levels psychological needs and lastly the most upper need is deemed as self-fulfillment needs.
Physiological needs are the lowest needs in the pyramid of the hierarchy of needs. These are the first and most basic needs individuals require for their survival (Martin & Loomis, 2013). They include physiological requirements such as water, food, warmth, sex, and shelter. For each individual, these needs have to be met because if any of these psychological necessities are not met or unfulfilled, people will automatically be unmotivated to move up the hierarchy since they will be confined in fulfilling these particular needs (Kermally, 2005). In general, these needs make up the general wellbeing of people.

Figure 1 Source:
Secondly, we have the safety and security needs which come after satisfying the physiological needs. Safety refers to a feeling where individuals know they are protected from harm either emotionally, physically or mentally (Martin & Loomis, 2013). These needs are divided into; financial security, personal security, safety against adverse impacts and also health security. People can still leave without the needs; however, their absence can also have adverse effects. For example, the absence of physical safety due to either war or family violence, individuals may experience transgenerational trauma or post-traumatic stress. As long as people are concerned about fulfilling these needs, the needs will relate to looking for job security, safer working environment, and also making provision for pensions (Kermally, 2005).
Thirdly, we have love and belonging needs which relate to the desire to be part of a relationship, family or organization. These needs can only be met when the physiological needs and safety and security needs are fulfilled. These needs are sometimes strong and can override the safety needs especially in children (Stoyanov, 2017). For example, this is seen when children cling to abusive parents. The absence of this needs can affect an individual’s ability in both maintaining or forming emotionally stable relationships such as in family, friendship and intimacy relationships. According to Maslow, individuals need a sense of acceptance and belonging among social groups whether small or large.
Fourthly, we have esteem needs. Each human being needs to feel respected, and therefore, these needs can only be met when a person’s need for love and belonging is met since it’s only when positive feelings for self-esteem and self-worth can be developed. Esteem needs give individuals a sense of value. However, if these needs are not met, one may lose confidence in himself or herself and assume a sense of inferiority (Fallatah & Syed, 2018). Besides, according to Maslow, esteem needs are divided into; higher and lower version esteem needs. The lower version refers to esteem needs that command respect from others. For example, prestige, recognition, and need for status. On the other hand, the higher version translates to the need for self-respect. For example, mastery, independence, and self-confidence.
Lastly, we have self-actualization needs. This need appears at the top of the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and refers to the desire to accomplish or realize a particular potential (Tanner, 2015). According to Maslow, this level refers to the desire to accomplish everything what one can. In different individuals, these needs manifest in different forms. For example, an individual may desire to have a huge career while another may desire to be an ideal parent. Like other needs, drive for self-actualization can have some pitfalls since it can create an obsession that results to physical destruction. Besides, these needs may lead to eccentric behavior which is annoying.
In conclusion, Maslow’s theory has received criticisms since some researchers argue that the hierarchy of needs are inexistent however basic needs exist. They argue that many people are driven by different needs simultaneously hence Maslow’s hierarchy of needs may be inefficient since they also do not consider cultural differences in human needs. In addition, the position of sex in Maslow’s pyramid of needs faces criticism since Maslow places sex as physiological need which must be satisfied before someone is motivated. Critics argue that some individuals do not desire sex as others. Others argue that the placement of sex in the physiological needs’ neglects familial, emotional and evolutionary implications of sex across the community.
Fallatah, R. H. M., & Syed, J. (2018). A Critical Review of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.
In Employee Motivation in Saudi Arabia (pp. 19-59). Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.
Huitt, W. (2011). Motivation to learn: An overview. Educational Psychology Interactive.
Valdosta, GA: Valdosta State University. Retrieved from
Kermally, S. (2005). CHAPTER FOUR: Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). In Gurus on People
Management (pp. 25–34). Thorogood Publishing Ltd. Retrieved from
Martin, D. J., & Loomis, K. S. (2013). Building teachers: A constructivist approach to
introducing education. Cengage Learning.
McLeod, S. (2007). Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Simply Psychology, 1.
Stoyanov, S. (2017). A theory of human motivation. Macat Library.
Tanner, R. (2015). Motivation–Applying Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory. Retrieved
May, 1, 2015.

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