Comparison and Contrast of Maslow and Murray

1916 words 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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Lastly, in this day and age, most Americans are lucky enough to have a majority of their basic needs satisfied (if poor, there are programs available to provide shelter and food), this causes many people to work on needs in other levels of the hierarchy. Those in life-risking employments (police officers, military members, etc.) or self-sacrificing employments (teachers, rural doctors), risk their lives every day to save others. This exception shows that there are people who will sacrifice their own basic needs for the welfare of others.

Known for coining the term personology, Henry Murray theorized that environmental motives, needs, and forces play a significant role in the expression of one’s psychogenic needs (needs that originate in our minds, and/or from our emotions). He referred to these forces as "press", in reference to the pressures that force us to act/behave. Personology was to be understood as the interaction between internal needs and environmental presses. A person’s expression was dependent upon their interaction with their environment, which would facilitate and/or impair the satisfaction of their needs.
Murray identified approximately 27 psychogenic needs (dependent on the time frame being researched, Murray originally identified twenty needs which remain highly representative and are in bold below). According to Straker, Murray’s needs are divided into six groups: Ambitious needs,