Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs




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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs



Abraham Maslow is known for establishing the theory of a hierarchy of needs, writing that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied. Maslow studied exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglas rather than mentally ill or neurotic people. This was a radical departure from two of the chief schools of pyschology of his day: Freud and B.F. Skinner. Freud saw little difference between the motivations of humans and animals. We are supposedly rational beings; however, we do not act that way. Such pessimism, Maslow believed, was the result of Freud's study of mentally ill people. "The study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy" (Motivation and Personality). Skinner, on the other hand, studied how pigeons and white rats learn. His motivational models were based on simple rewards such as food and water, sex, and avoidance of pain. Say "sit" to your dog and give the dog a treat when it sits, and-after several repetitions--the dog will sit when you command it to do so. Maslow thought that psychologists should instead study the playfulness, affection, etc., of animals. He also believed that Skinner discounted things that make humans different from each other. Instead, Skinner relied on statistical descriptions of people.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs was an alternative to the depressing determinism of Freud and Skinner. He felt that people are basically trustworthy, self-protecting, and self-governing. Humans tend toward growth and love. Although there is a continuous cycle of human wars, murder, deceit, etc., he believed that violence is not what human nature is meant to be like. Violence and other evils occur when human needs are thwarted. In other words, people who are deprived of lower needs such as safety may defend themselves by violent means. He did not believe that humans are violent because they enjoy violence. Or that they lie, cheat, and steal because they enjoy doing it.

According to Maslow, there are general types of needs (physiological, safety, love, and esteem) that must be satisfied before a person can act unselfishly. He called these needs "deficiency needs." As long as we are motivated to satisfy these cravings, we are moving towards growth, toward self-actualization. Satisfying needs is healthy, blocking gratification makes us sick or evil. In other words, we are all "needs junkies" with cravings that must be satisfied and should be satisfied. Else, we become sick.

Needs are prepotent. A prepotent need is one that has the greatest influence over our actions. Everyone has a prepotent need, but that need will vary among individuals. A teenager may have a need to feel that he/she is accepted by a group. A heroin addict will need to satisfy his/her cravings for heroin to function normally in society, and will not worry about acceptance by other people. According to Maslow, when the deficiency needs are met:

At once other (and higher) needs emerge, and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still higher) needs emerge, and so on. As one desire is satisfied, another pops up to take its place.



Physiological Needs

Physiological needs are the very basic needs such as air, water, food, sleep, sex, etc. When these are not satisfied we may feel sickness, irritation, pain, discomfort, etc. These feelings motivate us to alleviate them as soon as possible to establish homeostasis. Once they are alleviated, we may think about other things.



Safety Needs

Safety needs have to do with establishing stability and consistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly psychological in nature. We need the security of a home and family. However, if a family is dysfunction, i.e., an abusive husband, the wife cannot move to the next level because she is constantly concerned for her safety. Love and belongingness have to wait until she is no longer cringing in fear. Many in our society cry out for law and order because they do not feel safe enough to go for a walk in their neighborhood. Many people, particularly those in the inner cities, unfortunately, are stuck at this level. In addition, safety needs sometimes motivate people to be religious. Religions comfort us with the promise of a safe secure place after we die and leave the insecurity of this world.



Love Needs

Love and belongingness are next on the ladder. Humans have a desire to belong to groups: clubs, work groups, religious groups, family, gangs, etc. We need to feel loved (non-sexual) by others, to be accepted by others. Performers appreciate applause. We need to be needed. Beer commercials, in addition to playing on sex, also often show how beer makes for camaraderie. When was the last time you saw a beer commercial with someone drinking beer alone?



Esteem Needs

There are two types of esteem needs. First is self-esteem which results from competence or mastery of a task. Second, there's the attention and recognition that comes from others. This is similar to the belongingness level, however, wanting admiration has to do with the need for power. People who have all of their lower needs satisfied, often drive very expensive cars because doing so raises their level of esteem. "Hey, look what I can afford-peon!"



Self-Actualization

The need for self-actualization is "the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." People who have everything can maximize their potential. They can seek knowledge, peace, esthetic experiences, self-fulfillment, oneness with God, etc. It is usually middle-class to upper-class students who take up environmental causes, join the Peace Corps, go off to a monastery, etc.


Abraham Maslow

Understanding Human Motivation


A member of the Chicago dynasty of psychologists and sociologists, Abraham Maslow published his theory of human motivation in 1943. Its popularity continues unabated. Like his colleague Carl Rogers, Maslow believed that actualization was the driving force of human personality, a concept he captures in his 1954 book, Motivation and Personality.

"A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be."

Maslow's great insight was to place actualization into a hierarchy of motivation. Self actualization, as he called it, is the highest drive, but before a person can turn to it, he or she must satisfy other, lower motivations like hunger, safety and belonging. The hierarchy has five levels.



  1. 1. Physiological (hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, etc.)

  2. 2. Safety (security, protection from physical and emotional harm)

  3. 3. Social (affection, belonging, acceptance, friendship)

  4. 4. Esteem (also called ego). The internal ones are self respect, autonomy, achievement and the external ones are status, recognition, attention.

  5. 5. Self actualization (doing things)

Maslow points out that the hierarchy is dynamic; the dominant need is always shifting. For example, the musician may be lost in the self actualization of playing music, but eventually becomes tired and hungry so he or she has to stop. Moreover, a single behavior may combine several levels. For example, eating dinner is both physiological and social. The hierarchy does not exist by itself, but is affected by the situation and the general culture. Satisfaction is relative. Finally, he notes that a satisfied need no longer motivates. For example, a hungry man may be desperate for food, but once he eats a good meal, the promise of food no longer motivates him.

This highly popular theory strikes most people as intuitively right. Douglas McGregor makes it the building block for his Theory X and Theory Y. Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi continues the tradition in his concept of "flow." A 1990s example of self actualization may be surfing the Internet. Empirical research has confirmed the first three levels, but has not done so for the fourth and fifth levels of esteem and self actualization.

Some have noted that Maslow's hierarchy follows the life cycle. A newborn baby's needs are almost entirely physiological. As the baby grows, it needs safety, then love. Toddlers are eager for social interaction. Teenagers are anxious about social needs, young adults are concerned with esteem and only more mature people transcend the first four levels to spend much time self actualizing.

Hierarchy of Needs framework

Abraham Maslow biography


 From Value Based Management.net

Maslow: biography / resume / curriculum vitae

MORE Below 



Abraham Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents, hoping for the best for their children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success. Not surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books.

To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents wishes. Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters.

Abraham Maslow and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin. Here, he became interested in psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.

Abraham Maslow received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.

braham Maslow received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.

He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College. During this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time -- people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.

In 1951, Abraham Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein (who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization) and began his own theoretical work. It was also here that he began his crusade for a humanistic psychology -- something ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing. He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health..
Each human being is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all.

 THE HIERARCHY OF NEEDS MODEL



Hierarchy of Needs - Physiological needs

These are the very basic needs such as air, water, food, sleep, sex, etc. When these are not satisfied we may feel sickness, irritation, pain, discomfort, etc. These feelings motivate us to alleviate them as soon as possible to establish homeostasis. Once they are alleviated, we may think about other things.




Hierarchy of Needs - Safety needs

These have to do with establishing stability and consistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly psychological in nature. We need the security of a home and family. However, if a family is dysfunction, i.e., an abusive husband, the wife cannot move to the next level because she is constantly concerned for her safety. Love and belongingness have to wait until she is no longer cringing in fear. Many in our society cry out for law and order because they do not feel safe enough to go for a walk in their neighborhood.



Hierarchy of Needs - Love and belongingness needs

These are next on the ladder. Humans have a desire to belong to groups: clubs, work groups, religious groups, family, gangs, etc. We need to feel loved (non-sexual) by others, to be accepted by others. Performers appreciate applause. We need to be needed.



Hierarchy of Needs - Self-Esteem needs

There are two types of esteem needs. First is self-esteem which results from competence or mastery of a task. Second, there's the attention and recognition that comes from others. This is similar to the belongingness level, however, wanting admiration has to do with the need for power.



Hierarchy of Needs - The need for self-actualization

This is "the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." People who have everything can maximize their potential. They can seek knowledge, peace, esthetic experiences, self-fulfillment, oneness with God, etc.


 

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model was developed between 1943-1954, and first widely published in Motivation and Personality in 1954. At this time the Hierarchy of Needs model comprised five needs. Maslow's most popular book is Toward a Psychology of Being (1968), in which more layers were added. The original 5 layer-version still remains for most people the definitive Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow: biography / resume / curriculum vitae


MORE Below 

Abraham Maslow was born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He was the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves were uneducated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents, hoping for the best for their children in the new world, pushed him hard for academic success. Not surprisingly, he became very lonely as a boy, and found his refuge in books.

To satisfy his parents, he first studied law at the City College of New York (CCNY). He married Bertha Goodman, his first cousin, against his parents wishes. Abe and Bertha went on to have two daughters.

Abraham Maslow and Bertha moved to Wisconsin so that he could attend the University of Wisconsin. Here, he became interested in psychology, and his school work began to improve dramatically. He spent time there working with Harry Harlow, who is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.

Abraham Maslow received his BA in 1930, his MA in 1931, and his PhD in 1934, all in psychology, all from the University of Wisconsin. A year after graduation, he returned to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow became interested in research on human sexuality.

He began teaching full time at Brooklyn College. During this period of his life, he came into contact with the many European intellectuals that were immigrating to the US, and Brooklyn in particular, at that time -- people like Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt and Freudian psychologists.

In 1951, Abraham Maslow served as the chair of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he met Kurt Goldstein (who introduced him to the idea of self-actualization) and began his own theoretical work. It was also here that he began his crusade for a humanistic psychology -- something ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing. He spend his final years in semi-retirement in California, until, on June 8 1970, he died of a heart attack after years of ill health.

 

The Hierarchy of Needs model of Abraham Maslow


 

Each human being is motivated by needs. Our most basic needs are inborn, having evolved over tens of thousands of years. Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs helps to explain how these needs motivate us all.

 

Hierarchy of Needs - Physiological needs

These are the very basic needs such as air, water, food, sleep, sex, etc. When these are not satisfied we may feel sickness, irritation, pain, discomfort, etc. These feelings motivate us to alleviate them as soon as possible to establish homeostasis. Once they are alleviated, we may think about other things.




Hierarchy of Needs - Safety needs

These have to do with establishing stability and consistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly psychological in nature. We need the security of a home and family. However, if a family is dysfunction, i.e., an abusive husband, the wife cannot move to the next level because she is constantly concerned for her safety. Love and belongingness have to wait until she is no longer cringing in fear. Many in our society cry out for law and order because they do not feel safe enough to go for a walk in their neighborhood.



Hierarchy of Needs - Love and belongingness needs

These are next on the ladder. Humans have a desire to belong to groups: clubs, work groups, religious groups, family, gangs, etc. We need to feel loved (non-sexual) by others, to be accepted by others. Performers appreciate applause. We need to be needed.



Hierarchy of Needs - Self-Esteem needs

There are two types of esteem needs. First is self-esteem which results from competence or mastery of a task. Second, there's the attention and recognition that comes from others. This is similar to the belongingness level, however, wanting admiration has to do with the need for power.



Hierarchy of Needs - The need for self-actualization

This is "the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." People who have everything can maximize their potential. They can seek knowledge, peace, esthetic experiences, self-fulfillment, oneness with God, etc.


 

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs model was developed between 1943-1954, and first widely published in Motivation and Personality in 1954. At this time the Hierarchy of Needs model comprised five needs. Maslow's most popular book is Toward a Psychology of Being (1968), in which more layers were added. The original 5 layer-version still remains for most people the definitive Hierarchy of Needs.
 


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