Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Explained - Deepstash

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs states that people are motivated by five basic categories of needs:

  1. Physiological refers to basic physical needs like drinking when thirsty or eating when hungry.
  2. Safety needs are seen in childhood, as children have a need for safe and predictable enivonments and may react with fear or anxiety when these are not met.
  3. Love and belonging. Feeling loved and accepted by family and friends and social circles.
  4. Esteem involves our desire to feel self-confident and good about ourselves.
  5. Self-actualisation refers to feeling fulfilled or living up to our potential.

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How people progress through the hierarchy of needs

  • Maslow believed having things like freedom of expression or a just society makes it easier for people to achieve their needs.
  • Maslow also said a learning environment helps to better understand the world around us.
  • Maslow acknowledges that people don't have to satisfy one need completely to move to the next need. Instead, most people tend to have each of their needs partly met.
  • One behaviour might meet two or more needs. For example, sharing a meal with someone meets the physiological need for food and the need for belonging.

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Testing Maslow's theory

Testing Maslow's theory

Maslow's idea that we go through five specific stages hasn't always been supported by research.

In a 2011 study of human needs across cultures, researchers found that meeting six needs was linked to well-being: Basic needs (similar to Maslow's physiological needs), safety, love, pride and respect (similar to esteem needs), mastery, and autonomy.

However, the order in which people go through these steps is not a strict rule. For example, people living in poverty might struggle to meet their needs for food and safety but feel loved and supported.

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