Abraham Maslow : Hierarchy of Needs

Abraham Maslow

Abraham Maslow (1908 - 1970) was an American psychologist and philosopher. He is known for his self-actualization theory and hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs suggests that people have basic needs that must be met before they can pursue more so

cial, emotional, and self-actualizing needs. 
 The hierarchy is arranged like a ladder, with the most basic needs at the bottom. The first level includes physical needs like air, water, food, and sex.
 The second level includes needs for security and safety, such as financial security and a desire for control and order. 
 The third level includes concepts like friendship, community, love, and shared experiences. 

Maslow's theory assumes that people will develop a longing to fulfill the next level once one level is fulfilled. Maslow also believed that the motivation to fulfill needs becomes stronger the longer they are denied. For example, the longer someone goes without food, the hungrier they will become. 

Maslow's hierarchy of needs may vary across cultures due to individual differences and resource availability. 

Maslow is considered the father of humanistic psychology. He led the humanistic school of psychology that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s. He referred to this school of thought as the "third force", beyond Freudian theory and behaviorism.

The Hierarchy of Needs Model tries to explain human motivation and behavior. The model theorizes that people are motivated and driven by some general needs that are sought to be satisfied.

Abraham Maslow assumed all humans have emotions, desires, needs, and wants. To get what we need and want we must act, therefore humans will be motivated to take actions that will satisfy requirements and desires. By examining the needs of a respective employee, etc., managers may use this information to stimulate his or her employees.

It is theorized that these human needs can coexist, especially the top needs, and humans may have several requirements simultaneously. However, Abraham Maslow argues that the lower needs, such as physiological needs, must be met before humans will strive to satisfy other obligations in life.

Abraham Maslow classified the basic needs of humans into five groups, calling it the Hierarchy of Needs:

Physiological needs

These needs are essential requirements for survival, e.g., food, water, and shelter.

Safety needs

The safety needs could be general safety and security of home and family, order, and stability of the surrounding environment.

Belongingness and love needs

This concerns the human need for social belongingness and social needs. Requirements in this category could be love, affection, and a sense of belonging to groups.

Esteem needs

Esteem needs could be a desire for reputation and prestige, social status, fame and glory, dominance, recognition, attention, importance, dignity, or appreciation. Humans will be motivated to get these needs covered, potentially motivating them in, e.g., a job context.

Self-actualization needs

When all other requirements are satisfied, humans will pursue self-actualization needs. This need is the highest of all needs and is seen as the final stage of human need accomplishment.

The Hierarchy of Needs Model is a standard tool to diagnose human motivation, but it may not generally apply to a non-western mindset. People coming from other parts of the world may be motivated by different factors or may have different needs, e.g., esteem or self-actualization.

This problem was elaborated on by Nevis (1983), who conducted an analysis of the Chinese workforce. This analysis concluded that Chinese people may have a different hierarchy of needs than most Western and American employees.

This hierarchy of needs is often used to describe employee satisfaction and motivation, but it can also describe motivational factors within consumer purchase processes.

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