Maslow's Pyramid Meaning
What is Maslow's Pyramid:
Maslow's pyramid or pyramid of the hierarchy of human needs, is a graphic illustration that explains how human behaviors obey the satisfaction of hierarchical needs.
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) proposes a model of human motivation in his work “A theory of human motivation”Which is based on the following statements:
- Human behavior is motivated to meet needs,
- There are needs that have higher priority than others obeying a hierarchy,
- The satisfaction of lower needs is necessary to generate behaviors that motivate climbing to the peak of self-realization.
Maslow's pyramid is divided into the following five hierarchical levels:
First level: physiological needs
Physiological or biological needs constitute the base of Maslow's pyramid and are linked to physical survival, being the primary motivation for human behavior.
Examples of physiological needs are air, food, drink, sleep, shelter, sex, and body temperature balance. A person who is hungry will seek to feed (behavior) motivated by hunger (need).
Second level: security needs
Security needs correspond to the second level on the Maslow pyramid scale. In this aspect, the satisfaction of security refers to the need to feel safe and stable living in a family, community or society.
Human behavioral activities can only be directed to the satisfaction of this level of needs once you have met the first level of physiological needs.
Examples of security needs are money, security, order, stability, freedom. A person who does not know if his house will be repossessed for not having money to pay the debts will look for ways to generate money (behavior) motivated by stability (need).
Third level: membership and affiliation needs
Membership needs are at the third level of Maslow's pyramid and encompass the individual's sense of trust, intimacy and acceptance in a group, be it family, friends or work. At this level, the dynamic between receiving and giving love is the initial motivation for behavior.
Examples of the needs of belonging are the search for groups of friends, the reinforcement of family ties, the generation of intimacy, the creation of a family. A person who feels uncomfortable, as if he does not belong to his family group will look for groups of people with the same tastes of music, hobbies or profession (behavior) motivated by the sense of acceptance (need).
Fourth level: self-esteem needs
Self-esteem needs correspond to the fourth level of Maslow's pyramid and are related to individual recognition, whether in the personal, professional or public sphere.
Examples of self-esteem needs are independence, prestige, respect for others, professionalization, fulfillment, self-respect, status. A person who does not feel valued or who does not have enough recognition from others will look for ways to spread their value, such as uploading photos on social networks (behavior) motivated by the need for self-esteem (need).
See also Self-esteem.
Fifth level: needs for self-actualization
Self-actualization needs is the apex of Maslow's pyramid that all humans seek to reach. According to Maslow, the search for self-realization is stopped by the dissatisfaction of lower physiological needs, security, belonging and self-esteem. Despite this, a crisis can cause a temporary jump in the type of needs to be satisfied.
Examples of self-actualization are the realization of personal potential, personal growth, and motivation toward personal ambitions that do not fall within the other four lower levels of needs. A person who feels that he must pursue a personal project, without influencing the opinions of others, will seek to carry out activities that will bring him closer to his goal.
The levels of needs of Maslow's pyramid are also classified into two large groups: Needs for lack (d-needs) motivated by the lack of the basics that involve the first four levels of the pyramid and the needs for growth (b-needs) motivated by personal fulfillment that are grouped at the top of the pyramid.
See also Self-actualization and Motivation.
Maslow's pyramid and education
Maslow's pyramid serves as the basis for the definition of the therapeutic relationship within the humanist paradigm where the same author affirms that motivation in learning and change is only possible when a tendency towards self-realization is reached.