Hierarchy of Needs
(Maslow)

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Five layers of human needs. Explanation of Hierarchy of Needs of Maslow. ('54)

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Abraham Maslow biography

Abraham Maslow Hierarchy of NeedsAbraham Maslow is born April 1, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He is the first of seven children born to his parents, who themselves are poorly educated Jewish immigrants from Russia. His parents hope for the best for their children in the new world and push him hard for academic success. Not surprisingly, he becomes very lonely as a boy, and finds his refuge in books.

To satisfy his parents, he first studies law at the City College of New York (CCNY). He marries Bertha Goodman, his first grand niece, against his parents wishes. Abe and Bertha go on to have two daughters.

Abraham Maslow and Bertha move to Wisconsin so that he can attend the University of Wisconsin. Here, he becomes interested in psychology, and his school work begins to improve dramatically. There he is working with Harry Harlow. Harlow is famous for his experiments with baby rhesus monkeys and attachment behavior.

Abraham Maslow receives 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 moves back to New York to work with E. L. Thorndike at Columbia, where Maslow becomes interested in research on human sexuality.

He begins teaching full time at Brooklyn College. During this period of his life, he comes into contact with the many European intellectuals that are immigrating towards the US and towards Brooklyn in particular. People such as Adler, Fromm, Horney, as well as several Gestalt psychologists and Freudian psychologists.

In 1951, Abraham Maslow serves as the chairman of the psychology department at Brandeis for 10 years, where he meets Kurt Goldstein. Goldstein introduces him to the idea of self-actualization and Maslow begins his own theoretical work. It is also here that he begins his crusade for a humanistic psychology, which was ultimately much more important to him than his own theorizing. He spends the last years of his life in semi-retirement in California. On June 8 1970, he dies of a heart attack after years of ill health.


The Hierarchy of Needs model of Abraham Maslow


Hierarchy of NeedsHierarchy 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 are dealing with achieving of stability and of consistency in a chaotic world. These needs are mostly psychological in nature. We need the safety of a home and family. However, if a family is dysfunctional caused by for example 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 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 want to feel loved (non-sexual) by others, to be accepted by others. Performing artists are appreciating applause. We need to be needed. Compare: Hawthorne Effect


Hierarchy of Needs - Self-Esteem needs

There are two types of esteem needs. The first is the self-esteem which is the result 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 is related to 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.


Limitations of the Hierarchy of Needs model. Disadvantages

Care should be taken not to stick too rigidly to this hierarchy:

  • In reality, people don't work necessarily one by one through these levels. They are much less structured in the way they satisfy their needs. (Graves)
  • Different people with different cultural backgrounds and in different situations may have different hierarchies of need. (Hofstede, Early)
  • Other researchers claim that other needs are also significant or even more significant. See McClelland, who identified needs for achievement, affiliation and power.
  • In 1968, Maslow has himself added additional layers in his book: "Toward a Psychology of Being".

Despite of the above, the original five-layer-version still remains for most people the original Hierarchy of Needs.


Book: Abraham Maslow - Toward a Psychology of Being -




Hierarchy of Needs Forum Help
  Is Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Still Valid Today?
Yes, Maslow's need hierarchy is still valid today and even handy and practicable. Most humans have the same basic concept of needs.
One can amend or improve it with knowledge or exposure to experiences. But still we pass through the same hierarc...
     
  List of Criticisms on Maslow's Pyramid of Needs
Besides the criticisms already mentioned in the summary:
1. In reality, people don't necessarily go through these levels in that order.
2. Different people with different cultural backgrounds and in different situations may have different h...
     
  Limitations to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
One of the limitations to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is that it does not take into account the unsatisfied needs.
In addition, what about the must-haves; that, in my opinion, are prior to needs?...
     
  Self-fulfilment Prophecy
In my organization, I have found that the perception of people is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Most of them are around the physiological needs.
When I confronted them with various programs and initiatives to self actualize, only small numbers of ...
     
  Applying Hierarchy of Needs to Business
Clearly, an individual at the self-esteem and self-actualization levels would be a preferred employee.
The problem stems from the fact that most organizations do not create the culturally conducive environment for people to reach Maslow's hig...
     
  Is Self Actualization Equal to Nirvana?
Sometimes ago I attended a talk on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and the speaker stressed that the level of self-actualization equates to to 'nirvana' in Buddhist teaching - and thus very few people will reach this level. Can you elaborate on this?...
     
  Does Anyone Know That Maslow Reviewed Self-Actualization?
While Maslow originally meant self-actualization as a peak of personal needs, in fact before he died Maslow stated that actually paramount for such a person is the fact he can devote his life for the benefit of others, something transcendental, somet...
     
  Maslow and Interests Outside of Work
I would assume that managers want (prefer) people to be motivated at the self esteem and self actualization levels. If so, it could be said that individuals that have interests outside of work are having these needs met elsewhere. They therefore do n...
     
  Employee Needs Important for Organizations
The theory of needs is very essential in an organization. Employees whose psychological, safety needs, love and belongingness needs are met make better employees, which in the long run is essential for an organization's growth....
     
  How to Apply the Maslow Hierarchy of Needs to a Business
I would like to know how to apply the Maslow hierarchy of needs to a business (services) with matrix structure?...
     
  Maslow and Buyer Behaviour
How does Maslows Theory influences Buyer Behaviour?...
     
  Which Level of Need?
Let's call him Harry, he is very assertive. He will work for money and can change jobs for more money. Harry is hardworking and he expects the company also to work for him. He feels no qualms about working a 60-hour week if the money is there. So whi...
     
  Maslow's Model Related with Marketing
Maslow has really provided a basic model for which every individual is striving hard to achieve. The bottom ladder of the model is the prime requirement of every consumer or customer this ladder only suggest that we have one thing in common and this ...
     
  Hierarchy of Needs during Recession
During a recession, does the hierarchy of needs or preferences change?...
     
  Marketing Interpretation of Hierarchy of Needs
Maslow's needs hierarchy can be re-interpreted in consumer needs / value terms to read from bottom to top: Functional, Experiential, Relational, Social and Psychological....
     
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Best Practices - Hierarchy of Needs Premium

Expert Tips - Hierarchy of Needs Premium
 

Drivers and Levers of Employees

In their 2002 book "Driven: How Human Nature Shapes our Choices", Paul R. Lawrence and Nitin Nohria mention 4 drives underlying everything we do:
...
Usage (application): Improving Employee Motivation
 
 

Differences Between Maslow's Hierarchy and Alderfer's ERG Theory

The 4 main differences between the theories by Maslow and Alderfer are that ERG Theory:
1. Recognizes that multiple needs can be present at the s...
Usage (application): Understanding Human Needs, Teaching
 
 

Promotion-focused versus Prevention-focused Employees

An interesting way to look at the needs of employees or coachees for motivation purposes is described by Heidi Grant Halverson and E. Tory Higgins in ...
Usage (application): Employee Needs and Motivation
 
 

Alternate Classifications of Human Needs (Employees, Consumers)

One of possible ways to classify human (employee, consumer) needs is to break them down into:
- Biogenic Needs (essential, inherent certain eleme...
Usage (application): Motivation, Marketing, Human Needs
 
 

Family-Work Conflicts (FWC) and Daily Job Performance

FAMILY ROLES and WORK are two factors influencing each other: - Work can interfere with family roles; this is called a Work-Family Conflict (WFC).
...
Usage (application): Family-work conflicts, Coaching, Mentoring, Job Performance
 
 

Internal and External Motivators

Just a quick tip: Thinking on ways to motivate an employee / your workforce? You should understand that Maslow's Pyramid focuses on internal motiva...
Usage (application): 2 Types of Motivators....
 
 

Differences in Organizational Commitment Between Paid Workers and Volunteers

Paid and unpaid workers in hybrid organizations
Although financial considerations are an important reason to work for a certain organization, the...
Usage (application): Organizational Commitment, Employee Motivation, Non-profit Organizations
 

Resources - Hierarchy of Needs Premium

Human Motivation

Comprehesive presentation on Human / Employee Motivation. Topics:
1. What is motivation?
2. How do needs motivate people?
3. Are ther...
Usage (application): Employee Motivation

Hierarchy of Needs Presentation

Short but good presentation 'Behavioral Dynamics in Organizations' by PEARL K. PANTHAKI.
Deficiency Needs, Being Needs 5 Levels Criticism of th...
Usage (application): Studying Human Needs

Motivation

Short presentation with some slides about Maslow and Herzberg....
Usage (application): Motivation in Organizations

Hierarchy of Needs Diagram

Editable Ms-Word diagram of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs....
Usage (application): Original 5-stage Model

Overview of Content and Process Motivation Theories

Overview presentation of the major content motivation theories (Hierarchy of Needs; Acquired Needs theory; Two-Factor Theory) and process mo...
Usage (application): Motivation, Needs, Incentives, Goal Setting, Behavior

NLP: The 6 Neurological Levels

Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) is used increasingly by businesses and individuals in HR, marketing, sales and organizational development
Expl...
Usage (application): 6 layers to view at the reality of a person or issue

External and Internal Motivation

Presentation about motivation, from a psychological perspective. The presentation includes the following sections:
1. Psychological Needs
2....
Usage (application): Motivation

The Employee Commitment Pyramid

Stum (2013) developed the so-called Performance Pyramid. His model is clearly based on Maslow’s H...
Usage (application): Employee Commitment, Employee Motivation

Abraham Maslow

Good picture of Abraham Maslow....
Usage (application): Picture of Abraham Maslow
 

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