Why Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is Dead Wrong

In 1943, American psychologist Abraham Maslow introduced his theory on the Hierarchy of Needs, which he later developed further. This theory and the graphical representation of human needs in the form of a pyramid (a triangle to be more accurate) became very famous in both academia and popular culture. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs was and even still is a very popular framework of what people need and want and what drives human behaviour. The appeal of this framework – the hierarchy of needs – resides in its intuitive nature. If we think, but not too much, about what people want and need it makes sense that the fundamental layer is that of physiological needs such as food, water, clothes, excr

An Evolutionary Psychology Perspective on Marketing for Personal Hygiene Products

In “The Rational Animal”, Douglas T. Kenrick and Vladas Griskevicius say that within each person there are seven sub-selves, each being adapted to accomplish seven evolutionary goals: 1. Avoid physical harm. 2. Avoid disease (through contamination). 3. Gain (social) status. 4. Making friends and allies. 5. Attracting mates. 6. Retaining mates. 7. Caring and investing in children. This seven sub-selves model explains, at least in part, the differences in behavior exhibited by the same person in different contexts. To overstretch Kenrick and Griskevicius’s thesis: When we are set on achieving an evolutionary goal (e.g. attracting mates) one of the sub-selves activates and we behave very differ

We Need to Think Again About How We Do Good

Pro-social behavior is a big thing (industry?) in the USA. Charitable donations and volunteering are widely spread in the US society. In this post, I’ll address two potential pitfalls of how we do good in the USA (and elsewhere). Making Donations: In the two years since my wife and I are living in the US, we made several small donations. A couple of them were to well-established non-profit organizations and were made through online platforms. This implied that the well-established non-profit organizations had our contact information. After making the donations, our mailbox (the physical one) came under assault from those non-profits. Virtually every month we receive from them mail that solic

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