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Psychology: Same Wine in a Different Bottle 




PSYC E-1508 


Same Wine in a Different Bottle 

By: Kim Byrd-Rider   



Same Wine in a Different Bottle 

The following paper is book author David Forbes’s view of people and their motivations for product marketing value (2015). He uses psychology’s traditional ideas of the idealized self and the mastery motivation from Dr. Karen Horney (1950) along with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory (1943) and subdivides them into a new system for product marketing purposes.  

The definitions for both the traditional author, Horney (1950), and Forbes (1915) are essentially the same.  Forbes (1915, p. 40,43) passively and nicely delivers the bad news of the idealized-self as, “the person we want to be…the vision of how we wish we were or how we’d like someday to be.” Horney’s (1950) definition is the same but darker, depicting a complex system of ‘shoulds’ and taboos, “The idealized-self becomes the perspective from which the patient sees himself, the measuring rod by which he measures himself. He clings to it compulsively for dear life,” (p.23,24). 

Forbes (2015) describes the mastery motive as the underpinnings for strong drives towards being capable, skilled and talented. Passion and persistence are also a result of the expanding interests of the mastery drive. “The Mastery motive calls us to set our sights on a vision of ourselves…for who we would like to become,” (Forbes, 2015, p.94). Horney’s (1950) version again is darker. For her, mastery is one of three neurotic personality types. The neurotic mastery person idealizes himself as a superior being to other people, either unconsciously or consciously. This idealized image, constructed as a coping mechanism by his unhealthy imagination, determines his behavior, strivings and attitudes towards life. Similar to Forbes (2015), Horney (1950) describes the neurotic mastery person as having expansion qualities and moving aggressively towards others to reach his idealized self in his search for glory. 

Maslow’s (1943) motivational needs of psychological, safety, belonging, and esteem are threaded through Forbes’s theory. Forbes’s theory has three intra-psychic motives, three instrumental motives and three interpersonal motives. He has streamlined motivations to fit neatly by threes into these three categories. (According to the book, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs, in marketing things sell better when presented in threes (Gallo, 2010).) In the intra-psychic motive, he has Horney’s (1950) mastery personality, idealized self and Maslow’s safety need.  In the instrumental motives section, he lists empowerment, engagement and achievement which are Horney’s (1950) mastery personality. Forbes (2015) gives unconvincing reasons why these three should not be confused with mastery. Forbes’s interpersonal motive section is literally Maslow’s (1943) needs for belonging/nurturing and esteem. This entire section also describes Horney’s (1950) second of three neurotic personality types: self-effacing.  Horney’s third neurotic personality type is the resigned type, which is the absence or resignation from everything previously listed. The only thing Forbes (2015) leaves out of the two traditional theories is Maslow’s (1943) final need and Horney’s (1950) ultimate goal. Both, of which, are self-actualization. Self-actualization is obviously unnecessary for product marketing.  

Proselytizing describes the industry of marketing. Forbes (2015) says “motivations will constantly create an appetite for products or services that enhance people’s self-image,” and marketing companies prey on that (p.43).  Forbes’s (2015) solutions advance traditional motivation solutions of Horney (1950) and Maslow (1943) into a converged paradigm but it is not necessarily better. It could be described as a watered down, expanded and rearranged combination of Horney’s (1950) and Maslow’s (1943) theories. Playing to the desires of the neurotic idealized-self is not particularly helpful for the positive evolution of humanity. It does further the motives of marketers to gain brand loyalty, preferences and advertising effectiveness. 


Forbes, D. (1915). The science of why. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. 

Gallo, C. (2010). The presentation secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be insanely great in front of any audience. New York, NY: Prentice Hall. 

Horney, K. (1950). Neurosis and human growth. New York, NY: Norton. 

Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological review, 50(4), 370. 





I'm Dr. Kim
Byrd-Rider, PT

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