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Law of the Instrument

Last updated Feb 9, 2023

# Definition

If the only tool you have is a hammer, it is tempting to treat everything as if it were a nail.

  • Abraham Maslow, 1966

Also known as: Maslow’s Hammer.

# First recorded mention of the concept

I call it the law of the instrument, and it may be formulated as follows: Give a small boy a hammer, and he will find that everything he encounters needs pounding.

  • Abraham Kaplan, 1964

# References