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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

by Rachael Wilkinson

What are the 5 levels of Maslow hierarchy of needs?

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by: María Nuñez

Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a well-known psychological theory that describes human motivation and the hierarchical nature of human needs. It is often depicted as a pyramid (although Maslow never used the image of a pyramid to help illustrate his theory) with the most basic physiological needs forming the broad base and self-actualization at the pinnacle. According to Maslow, individuals typically progress through these levels sequentially, with each level serving as a foundation for the next. However, individuals may revisit lower levels if their higher-level needs are not met. The 5 levels of Maslow hierarchy of needs are as follows:

1. Physiological Needs: This is the foundational level of the hierarchy and includes the most basic human needs necessary for survival. It encompasses things like air, water, food, shelter, sleep, and clothing. Without these needs met, individuals cannot progress to higher levels of the hierarchy.

2. Safety Needs: Once physiological needs are reasonably satisfied, individuals seek safety and security. This level includes the need for physical safety, financial security, health, and protection from harm. People may seek stable employment, access to healthcare, and a safe living environment.

3. Love and Belongingness Needs: After the lower levels are met, individuals desire social connections and a sense of belonging. This includes the need for love, friendship, intimacy, and a sense of community. People seek relationships with family, friends, and romantic partners to fulfill these needs.

4. Esteem Needs: Once the lower levels are fulfilled, individuals strive for self-esteem and a positive self-image. This level encompasses both self-esteem (confidence, achievement, respect from others) and the need for esteem from others (recognition, status, appreciation). Achieving personal goals and receiving recognition become essential at this stage.

5. Self-Actualization: At the top of the hierarchy is self-actualization, which represents the realization of one's full potential and personal growth. This level involves pursuing personal interests, self-discovery, creativity, and fulfilling one's unique capabilities. People at this stage are often driven by a desire for personal growth, self-fulfillment, and a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs has been influential in various fields, including psychology, education, and management, as it provides a framework for understanding human motivation and behavior and can inform strategies for personal development and well-being.

Related Information on The All About Psychology Website

Do You Have A Self-Actualised Personality? Maslow Revisited Excellent article by Dr. Christian Jarrett on the use of modern statistical methods to create a test of self-actualisation.

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