Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Is the pyramid a hoax?

The article is not stating that the pyramid in itself is a hoax, but they couldn’t find any reference by Maslow that describes the pyramid as such. Interesting stuff, if someone has more information, do share!

Learning, Teaching and Leadership

I’m a big believer in going back to original sources, rather than relying on secondary sources.

Recently I was reading Maslow’s original 1943 article, “A theory of human motivation”. I was curious about his hierarchy of needs and wanted to learn more about it. When I began poking around on the Internet, I found that the pyramid was commonly cited as being from either his 1943 article or his 1954 book.

Wanting to find the original, I went to the oldest work first. I quickly flipped through the 27-page article from 1943, which was available on line through my university library. I looked for the pyramid figure. It was nowhere to be found. Maslow does talk about a hierarchy of needs, but there was no diagram of a pyramid.

I wondered if maybe it was in the 1954 book, Motivation and personality. I went to the University library and took…

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7 Comments

Filed under Myths

7 responses to “Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – Is the pyramid a hoax?

  1. Do you follow my friend Donald Clark? He is a myth-buster of the first order. Sold the largest eLearning company in the UK for millions and does whatever he feels like, which is often punching holes in charlatans, snake oil salesmen, and dummies’ ridiculous folktales of how people learn. Getting to know you a little through your blog, I’m confident Donald’s take on Maslow will capture your fancy. jahy

  2. Pingback: Good read: 70 years of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs | From experience to meaning...

  3. Pingback: Een wat langer stuk over de taxonomie van Bloom | X, Y of Einstein?

  4. Pingback: Een wat langer stuk over de taxonomie van Bloom | Blogcollectief Onderzoek Onderwijs

  5. Pingback: A longer piece on the taxonomy of Bloom | From experience to meaning...

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