Foundational Thought

Foundational Thought






SigmundFreud, Erik Erikson and Abraham Maslow are some of the most influencetheories in the field of psychology. Sigmund Freud is considered tobe the father of psychoanalysis and the study of psychodynamics. Inhis psychoanalysis theory, he introduced the concept of theunconscious mind and the three components, id, ego and superego, andhow they influence individual’s behaviors (Reef,2011).In his psychosocial theory of development, Erik Erikson expandedFreud thoughts by analyzing how social factors affect personalitydevelopment throughout the entire lifespan, rather than in childhood.He proposed eight stages of psychosocial development based on thebasic tenants of the Sigmund Freund psychosocial analysis (Haggbloom,2002).Abraham Maslow theory of psychology is based on the understandingthat experience is a basic aspect of human behavior and learning. Heemphasized on distinctive human qualities, values, choices and selfrealization as well as subjective rather that objective analysis ofhuman behaviors (Miles,2008).


Thethree theorists had a huge contribution in the development of modernpsychology. Sigmund Freud is considered the greatest and most famouspsychologist in history. His psychological theories on personality,childhood development, sexuality and memory form the foundation ofsome of the major theories in the modern psychology thoughts. Hismost important contribution of Sigmund Freud in the field ofpsychology was the introduction of the psychosexual stages inindividuals’ development which has further been expanded by othermodern theorists and thinkers (Reef,2011).Erik Erikson was also an influence psychological theorist who wasgreatly influenced by Sigmund Freud work. He considered thepsychoanalysis theory proposed by Freud and applied it to the entirelife of an individual. His main argument was that individuals goesthrough the eight stages of development, where each stage ischaracterized by crisis which the individual need to resolve in orderto develop qualities that are essential in the particular stage(Haggbloom,2002). On the other hand, Abraham Maslow introduced a new psychologicalthought referred to as humanistic psychology. He is referred to asthe father of humanistic psychology that focuses on the goodness andnobility of human nature (Miles,2008).


AbrahamMaslow departed the Freud psychology and introduced a new way ofthinking about what influences human behavior. In his psychologicalstudies, he studies the development of personalities and behaviorsbased on subjective analysis and drive towards self actualization.The hierarchy of needs is therefore the most important aspect ofMaslow theory (Miles,2008).However, the weakness of his theory is found on its strongest point.The main problem with the hierarchy of need proposed by Maslow is thefailure to consider the fact that the achievement of all the humanneed is possible if there is social collaboration and connection.Human beings are social beings and therefore, social collaboration isnecessary. For example, to achieve basic physiological needs andsafety needs, individuals will always collaborate with each other.People collaborate in social groups to search for food, build secureand defeat enemies. Abraham Maslow hierarchy of needs did notconsider the significance of human reliance on each other to achievethe needs listed in the hierarchy. In the modern societies, theessence of social collaboration and connection as a prerequisite forsurvival and its influence on Abraham Maslow theory need moreassessment and thoughts from the modern psychologists. It isimportant to note the modern society is becoming more complex. Due tothe chaos that characterizes the modern society, the needs areincreasingly becoming nonhierarchical as proposed by Abraham Maslow.This is likely to bring about a new approach to Maslow hierarchy ofneeds.


Haggbloom,S. et al. (2002). &quotThe 100 most eminent psychologists of the20th century&quot. Reviewof General Psychology6(2): 139–152.

Miles,V.(2008). &quotMaslow`s leadership legacy&quot. Journalof Humanistic Psychology48(4): 444–445.

Reef,C. (2011). SigmundFreud: pioneer of the mind,New York: Clarion Books.