Maslow’s Hierarchy of Motivation

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Abraham H. Maslow was one of the 20th century’s foremost American humanistic psychologists. Humanistic psychologists emphasize human potential and the importance of love, belonging, self-esteem and self-expression, peak experiences, and self-actualization (Morris & Maisto, 2010). Maslow organized these categories to help form a hierarchy of human motivational needs. They are based on a series of needs, including physiological, safety, love, esteem, and self-actualization needs. He placed these needs into the shape of a pyramid, in which the bottom layer consists of our lower motivational needs such as physiological needs, leading up to the top layer consisting of the higher motivational needs such as self-actualization. He believed that when a person satisfies their basic needs, they can then move up the pyramid to fulfill their higher needs. Abraham Maslow’s theory on human motivation is an accurate portrayal of how human needs affect their behavior. Many people have agreed with Maslow on his theory. In order for people to continue on with their daily tasks or life goals, they need to satisfy their most basic needs. My typical day consists of waking up after a full night’s rest, visiting with my mother, grabbing something to eat, and working on homework until it’s time to eat again. As one can see, a typical day for me does kind of follow along with Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Some people, who only know about Maslow’s hierarchy of motivational needs, may think that he believed that a person must completely fulfill all of their needs in one category before being able to move up to higher motivational needs. “A more realistic description of the hierarchy would be in terms of decreasing percentages of satisfaction as we go up the hierarchy of prepotency” (Maslow, 2012, p.202). This statement means that even though we’ve satisfied our basic needs, the more

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