Maslow’s hierarchy Theory

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory is used to study how humans intrinsically partake in behavioral motivation. He used the terms Physiological, Safety, Social needs or Self-esteem, and self-actualization to describe the pattern through which human motivations generally move.

1. Physiological needs

Physiological need is a concept that was derived to explain and cultivate the foundation for motivation. This concept is the main physical requirements for human survival. This means that Physiological needs are universal human needs. Physiological needs are considered the first step in internal motivation according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. This theory states that humans are compelled to fulfill these physiological needs first in order to pursue Physiological needs as traits allude to long-term, unchanging demands that are required of basic human life.

Physiological needs include:

  • Homeostasis
  • Food
  • Water
  • Sleep
  • Shelter
  • Sex

2. Safety needs

Once a person’s physiological needs are satisfied, their safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior. These safety needs manifest themselves in ways such as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, disability accommodations, etc. This level is more likely to predominate in children as they generally have a greater need to feel safe. Safety and security needs are about keeping us safe from harm. These include shelter, job security, health, and safe environments. If a person does not feel safe in an environment, they will seek to find safety before they attempt to meet any higher level of survival, but the need for safety is not as important as basic physiological needs.

Safety and Security needs include:

  • Personal security
  • Emotional security
  • Financial security
  • Health and well-being

Maslow's hierarchy

3. Social needs

According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, regardless of whether these groups are large or small. For example, some large social groups may include clubs, co-workers, religious groups, professional organizations, sports teams, gangs, and online communities. Some examples of small social connections include family members, intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, and confidants.

Social Belonging needs include:

  • Friendships
  • Intimacy
  • Family

4. Self-esteem needs

Esteem needs are ego needs or status needs. People develop a concern with getting recognition, status, importance, and respect from others. Most humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others.

Most people have a need for stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs: a “lower” version and a “higher” version. The “lower” version of esteem is the need for respect from others. This may include a need for status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention. The “higher” version manifests itself as the need for self-respect. For example, the person may have a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom. This “higher” version takes guidelines, the “hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated”. This means that esteem and the subsequent levels are not strictly separated; instead, the levels are closely related.

5. Self-actualization

Self-actualization can often be described as a value-based system when discussing its role in motivation. Since all levels of Maslow’s hierarchy must have been met in order to acquire this level, seeking to fulfill this form of satisfaction can be defined as an explicit motive. An explicit motive can be defined as a reward-based system that is used to intrinsically pursue certain values or goals. Individuals who are motivated to pursue this level are seeking and understanding how their sense of self-partakes within their human behavior.

Self-actualization can include:

  • Mate Acquisition
  • Parenting
  • Utilizing Abilities
  • Utilizing Talents
  • Pursuing a goal
  • Seeking Happiness