Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory developed by Abraham Maslow and presented in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”. This theory suggests that humans are driven by a system of peculiarly organized innate needs and is still highly popular. The reason for this is that it is still resonant as “it explains human nature as something most humans immediately recognize in themselves and others” (Abulof, 2017, p. 508). This short essay aims to discuss Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and illustrate how it influences people’s lives.
The needs that were formulated by Maslow are divided into several categories: physiological needs, safety and security, love and belonging, esteem, and self-actualization needs. Nowadays, they are generally shown as a pyramid with the most fundamental, basic needs in the bottom, and more advanced at the top. This structure allows people to prioritize the impulses, desires, and longings, and act accordingly.
Any individual, independent of their status or any other factor, would be interested first and foremost in fulfilling their basic needs such as nutrition, sleep, and warmth. After these needs have been met, a person might get to a higher level of the hierarchy and concentrate on seeking out safety and security. After receiving this, people become motivated to achieve higher-level needs, such as intimate relationships, friendship, accomplishment, and self-fulfillment.
Examples can be taken from everyday life or history. In times of crisis, the priorities are put into more basic needs: a sleep-deprived person would seek an opportunity to sleep without paying attention to other higher needs. On the contrary, if a person is well-fed, rested, has an appropriate amount of comfort in their life, financially secure, the probability of this person socializing and seeking ways of self-development is much higher.
Abulof, U. (2017). Introduction: Why we need Maslow in the twenty-first century. Society, 54(6), 508–509. Web.