Description of Maslow's Motivation Theory

Abraham Maslow is considered to be the father of Humanistic Psychology,also known as the "Third Force". Humanistic Psychology incorporatesaspects of both Behavioral Psychology and Psychoanalytic Psychology. Behaviorists believe that human behavior is controlled by external environmentalfactors. Psychoanalytic Psychology is based on the idea that human behavior iscontrolled by internal unconscious forces. Though he studied both Behavioraland Psychoanalytic Psychologies, Maslow rejected the idea that human behavior iscontrolled by only internal or external forces. Instead, Maslow's motivationthrory states that man's behavior is controlled by both internal and externalfactors. In addition he emphasizes that humans have the unique ability to makechoices and excercise free-will.

Maslow showed little interest in animal or laboratory studies of humanbehavior. He chose instead to collect data for his theories by studyingoutstanding individuals. His studies led him to believe that people havecertain needs which are unchanging and genetic in origin. These needs are thesame in all cultures and are both physiological and psychological. Maslowdescribed these needs as being hierarchal in nature, meaning that some needs aremore basic or more powerful than others and as these needs are satisfied, otherhigher needs emerge.

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