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9/17/2007Maslow's Hierarchy of Needssimplypsychology.org/maslow.htmlbyBy Saul McLeod2007, updated 2016Maslow's (1943, 1954)hierarchy of needsis a motivational theory in psychology comprising a five tier model ofhuman needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence overothers. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behaviour. Oncethat level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.This five stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referredto as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs).The deficiency needs are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the need to fulfil such needs willbecome stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food, themore hungry they will become.One must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to meet higher level growth needs. When a deficitneed has been satisfied it will go away, and our activities become habitually directed towards meeting the next set ofneeds that we have yet to satisfy. These then become our salient needs. However, growth needs continue to be feltand may even become stronger once they have been engaged. Once these growth needs have been reasonablysatisfied, one may be able to reach the highest level called self-actualization.1/7
Every person is capable and has the desire to move up the hierarchy toward a level of self-actualization.Unfortunately, progress is often disrupted by a failure to meet lower level needs. Life experiences, including divorceand loss of a job may cause an individual to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy. Therefore, not everyone willmove through the hierarchy in a uni-directional manner but may move back and forth between the different types ofneeds.Maslow noted only one in a hundred people become fully self-actualized because our society rewards motivationprimarily based on esteem, love and other social needs.The original hierarchy of needs five-stage model includes:1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep.2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, stability, freedom from fear.3. Love and belongingness needs - friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance, receiving and givingaffection and love. Affiliating, being part of a group (family, friends, work).4. Esteem needs - achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, self-respect,respect from others.5. Self-Actualization needs - realizing personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth andpeak experiences.