Maslow - Hierarchy of Human Needs
Abraham Maslow (1908 – 1970) is one of the twentieth century’s most influential psychologists who devised a Hierarchy of Needs which has been widely accepted as a useful and distinctive way of understanding human needs.
Maslow’s research endeavoured to identify what motivated ordinary people in their everyday lives. This was a different approach as up to this point, most research had examined the causes of abnormal behaviour rather than normal behaviour.
Human Needs give purpose, direction and motivate behaviour
Maslow theorised that all human needs strive to be fulfilled but are prioritised in a way that the lower levels take precedence over those on higher levels. The needs at each level must be fulfilled or at least partly satisfied before an individual would be able to move up to the next level. Maslow suggests that if all our needs were satisfied then we would only be concerned with personal growth and development.
The trouble is when events happen (large or small) in our lives it can disrupt the flow of the fulfilment of our needs. If a major event occurs like an Earthquake and we suddenly loose our infra-structure, we then focus on satisfying our basic needs. So. it can be appreciated that when we are starving and homeless, we are going to channel efforts into finding food, warmth and shelter rather than the niceties of life.
Many representations of Maslow’s theory display his earlier research which only show five levels of Human Needs. However, Maslow revised his theory in 1970 to include two further levels.
Level 7 – Harmony Needs
The need to experience Fulfilment, Transcendence, Contentment, Beauty and Balance.
Level 6 – Achievement Needs
Personal Development, Satisfaction, Innovation, Creativity, Advancement, Success.
Level 5 – Cognitive Needs
To acquire, understand and apply knowledge.
Level 4 – Esteem Needs
Emotions, Admiration, Prestige, Status, Self Respect, Self Esteem, Self Acceptance, Self Belief, Adequacy, Self Confidence, Self Achievement.
Level 3 – Social Needs
Family Relationships, Social Relationships Acceptance, Belonging, Communication, Love, Intimacy, Social Interaction, Companionship, Support, Identity.
Level 2 – Safety Needs
Employment, Health, Exercise, Security, Order, Protection, Resources, Predictability, Well being.
Level 1 – Physiological and Biological Needs
Survival: Food, Water, Shelter, Sleep, Warmth, Breath, Nourishment, Exercise, Sex and Excretion.