Essay about Comparison and Contrast of Maslow and Murray

1912 Words Jul 15th, 2013 8 Pages
Comparing and Contrasting Maslow and Murray’s Theories of Needs

Organismic theorists Abraham Maslow and Henry Murray tried to define the psychological developmental growth of humans via their theories of Hierarchy of Needs and Psychogenic Needs, respectively. Although each personality theorist’s idea attempts to define human psychological development there are quite a few dissimilarities between the two concepts; however, as much dissimilarity that may exist between the hierarchy of needs and psychogenic needs, both Maslow and Murray endeavored towards the same goal: to show the importance of studying human psychological growth, and to successfully place the study of personality on the map of psychological education. More importantly
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Maslow believed that the understanding and the enhancement of our personality’s development was important to developing a healthy personality. If one’s lower level needs were not adequately met, they would become stuck at that level and their personality would become dominated by the needs of that level.

The hierarchy of needs has several strengths that have made this theory integral to the field of psychology. The biggest strength of Maslow’s need theory relates to its intuitive nature - awareness of emotions. It is this strength that supports practitioners in using the theory despite the lack of supportive evidence (O’Connor & Ybatel, 2007). Another strength of Maslow's theory is that it focuses on the individual's own constructs and experiences instead of focusing on the mentally ill. On the other hand, Maslow’s theory does have several weaknesses. First, due to the lack of specificity in Maslow’s theory, it is easily applied in various ways making it difficult to test and study. Another weakness is that just as norms between individuals fluctuate, so do norms between cultures. Variables such as esteem and self-actualization may have very different meanings amongst different cultures, thus making it difficult to standardize Maslow’s theory and the definitions of the components. Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory was developed by American theorists and the research was conducted only with American participants. The different value…

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