Comparison Between Maslow and Skinner

In: Philosophy and Psychology

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Comparison between Maslow and Skinner
Rhonda Gardner
Educational Psychology
July 1, 2012

Comparison and Contrast between
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory
and
Burrhus Frederic Skinner Behaviorist Theory
B. F. Skinner and Abraham Maslow both are well known in the field of Psychology, but not all psychologist believe in the same theories, perspectives or needs. Here we have two brilliant minds with two different theories when it comes to learning. While neither is wrong, they both have a tremendous impact in the classroom. Take a look at the cart below and compare Skinner’s and Maslow’s theories.
Chart:
Theories and Needs | Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs | Skinner Behaviorist Theory |
How Motivation is Defined | Maslow believed that people have basic instincts according to their needs. This shapes their behavior of the person, when one of the five key needs are deprived or missing there is a change in behavior. | Skinner believed that behavior is shaped by positive and negative reinforcement. Good behavior is rewarded and bad behavior is punished or a least favorable outcome occurs.. |
How Motivation changes for elementary vs. secondary students. | Maslow believed that the 5 steps in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs must be meet in order for a student to be successful in the learning process. Once these needs are met the students should proceed forward in small steps to more advanced steps of the subject area and adjusted if needed. In secondary students the steps become a little larger. | The tasks should be broken into small steps with reinforcement, modify the activity if the student is struggling and use intermittent reinforcement to keep the student on task with high performance. With secondary students the reward system would become less frequent. |
How the Theories are similar. How the theories are different. | Similarities: Both…...

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