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Thread: My deconstruction of maslow's chicken experiment.

  1. #1

    My deconstruction of maslow's chicken experiment.

    A simplification of Maslow's chicken experiment is easy. Firstly, Maslow was one of the leading behaviourist psychologists, personally I find the whole school of behaviourism anti democratic and obnoxious.
    Maslow took a group of chickens and watched what each chicken ate and compared the weight of the birds. He found that some chickens were fatter and more dominant than others, because they made what he concluded were good food choices. The thin chickens were less dominant, and made what he thought of as bad food choices. So he fed the thin chickens the same food as the fat chickens and hey presto the thin chickens became fatter and more dominant. The assumption iss that bad choosers make bad choices and that good choosers make good choices. He went on to argue that people were like the chickens some made good choices and were more dominant and successful. He then said that if we forced the bad choosers(poor) in our society make what the good choosers(rich) made, the poor choosers would become rich.

    Back on the chicken farm, the bad choosers lived long and happy live making bad choices. The fat chickens became chicken dinners.

    The poor choosers in this society aren't dying of over work and other problems and have better family lives and generally happier than the good choosers. Success comes at a price
    .
    I prefer not to be a fat chicken dinner, live in a democracy, just because the successful people vote for a particular political party should my(bad) vote count as less. Because I don't follow my doctors advice, should i be forced into hospital for 1 week respite care against my wishes? Should we give up pursuing our personal happiness for the pursuit of someone elses opinion of what 'success' is?

  2. #2
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    Simply lost the logic between this premise:

    “A simplification of Maslow's chicken experiment is easy.”

    Concluding with

    “Because I don't follow my doctors advice, should i be forced into hospital for 1 week respite care against my wishes? Should we give up pursuing our personal happiness for the pursuit of someone elses opinion of what 'success' is?”


    Maybe explaining the relationship would help us understand.

  3. #3
    Senior Member anban's Avatar
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    I don't think you can deconstruct and simplify the complexity of behavioral experience. All animals form a hierarchy, especially when it comes to survival (as seen with the stronger chickens getting the best food, thus being dominant), humans do the same. When the stronger chickens were taken away, the weaker ones became dominant in the hierarchy by default, no actions of their own. I understand your argument, that by forcing a bad chooser to make a good choice, you are still making the decision for them. But in terms of personal choices, made by a human animal versus a raptor, that do not involve basic survival behavior, I do not think you can draw comparisons between Maslow's experiment and a hypothetical question regarding respite.

  4. #4
    The poor choosers in this society aren't dying of over work and other problems and have better family lives and generally happier than the good choosers. Success comes at a price
    .
    What is the basis for this conclusion Everything from poor health to domestic violence is associated with the lower economic strata in the U.S.
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  5. #5
    The thing is that Maslow said wouldn't it be lovely to force good choices on bad choosers as if 'bad chooser' were easy to define.

    We pick dominance and fatness as characteristics that humans think are desirable in chickens, not taking into aaccount that we, humans, would choose to eat the fat chickens rather than the thin ones. If we could pick traits in humans that we felt were desirable, we would probably choose the traits of successful people. BUT are successful people happy? I would personally rather be happy than successful.

  6. #6
    Senior Member flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by all-buggered-up View Post
    The thing is that Maslow said wouldn't it be lovely to force good choices on bad choosers as if 'bad chooser' were easy to define.

    We pick dominance and fatness as characteristics that humans think are desirable in chickens, not taking into aaccount that we, humans, would choose to eat the fat chickens rather than the thin ones. If we could pick traits in humans that we felt were desirable, we would probably choose the traits of successful people. BUT are successful people happy? I would personally rather be happy than successful.
    Are happy people fat, or fat people happy???. I've heard from several men that were no longer forgiving their spouse for the maritial hell they surv8vedl
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