Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Essay

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Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory of motivation and personality developed by the psychologist Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970). Maslow's hierarchy explains human behavior in terms of basic requirements for survival and growth. These requirements, or needs, are arranged according to their importance for survival and their power to motivate the individual. The most basic physical requirements, such as food, water, or oxygen, constitute the lowest level of the need hierarchy. These needs must be satisfied before other, higher needs become important to individuals. Needs at the higher levels of the hierarchy are less oriented towards physical survival and more toward psychological well-being and growth. These needs have less power to motivate persons, and they are more influenced by formal education and life experiences. The resulting hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a pyramid, with physical survival needs located at the base of the pyramid and needs for self-actualization located at the top. Description Maslow's hierarchy specifies the following levels: Physiological needs: These are the basic requirements for human physical survival. They include such essentials as food, water, shelter, oxygen, and sleep. When these needs are unmet, human beings will focus on satisfying them and will ignore higher needs. Safety needs: Once the individual's basic physical needs are met, his or her needs for safety emerge. These include needs for a sense of security and predictability in the world. The person tries to maintain the conditions that allow him or her to feel safe and avoid danger. Maslow thought that inadequate fulfillment of these needs might explain neurotic behavior and other emotional problems in some people. Love and belonging needs: When the individual's physiological and safety needs are met, needs for love and belongingness emerge.

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