William Compton of Middle Tennessee State University first deals with the charge that this work is ascientific.
He finds there is a lack of strong evidence showing that individuals transition from one level of the hierarchy to the next, as Maslow claimed. However, research on this point is complicated by the widely mistaken belief that Maslow considered needs must be fully satisfied at each level before progressing. In fact, Maslow stated that everyone has unsatisfied needs at every level – who feels safe 100 per cent of the time?
On the other hand, in favour of the idea of progression through the hierarchy is evidence from comparisons of national populations. Cross-cultural research shows that when more people in a population have their basic needs met, a greater proportion also tend to reach self-actualisation, as compared with populations that are preoccupied with scarcities.