Abraham Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who established a theory about human motivations and needs, which makes us act the way we do and not otherwise.
This theory, commonly known as Maslow’s Pyramid, establishes that our actions are born from a motivation to direct us towards an objective that is to cover certain needs. These needs can be ordered according to their importance in ensuring our well-being.
That is to say, there is a hierarchy of needs that human beings have. As the human being satisfies the most basic needs, he develops higher, more complex needs and desires.
What moved him to investigate this theory was to discover what makes people happier and what they can do to improve their personal development and self-realization. That’s why he started from the premise that every human being has an innate desire for self-realization. We all have the capacity to achieve our goals, provided that the environment is conducive.
The objectives we have at each moment depend on those we have already achieved and those we still have to achieve according to the pyramid of needs.
Abraham Maslow‘s theory
In Maslow’s Pyramid there are 5 levels of needs, the most basic of which are found at the base, so they will be the first we have to achieve. The more complex ones are at the top. We cannot go to a higher level until we have achieved those of the level we are in.
These needs are: physiological, security, affiliation, recognition and self-realization. We start with the physiological ones and move on in the order mentioned, which is the order of importance they have.
They can be subdivided into two groups: those with deficiencies (physiological, security, affiliation, recognition) and those with development of the self (self-realization).
The difference is that deficiencies refer to a cadence, while those of development of the self refer to the occupations of the individual. Satisfying the deficiencies is vital in order not to have negative feelings. On the contrary, those of development of the being are important to ensure personal growth in order to grow as a person.
The 5 levels of Maslow’s Pyramid
Physiological needs: these are the vital needs, the most basic to survive, they are of biological order, we find, among other needs: to breathe, to drink water, to sleep, to eat, to have sex, to have shelter. In short, they are what keep us alive, that is why they are the most basic. It is important to cover them, otherwise we will not be able to cover the next ones.
Security needs: they are the consequence of having fulfilled the previous ones. Oriented to personal security, stability and protection of the person. Among them we find: physical security, work security, income and resources security, family security, health security…
Affiliation needs: these are the needs of individuals to establish affective bonds, to create a social environment. For example, getting married, starting a family, belonging to a community or social club, making friends, etc.
Recognition needs: these allow for the strengthening of self-esteem. It is the recognition of one’s own person, particular achievements and respect for others. If we cover them, we will feel confident about ourselves and that we have a value within society. Otherwise we will feel inferior and worthless. There are two categories: the inferior (we include respect for others: status, fame, glory, recognition, etc…) and the superior (respect for oneself: self-confidence, competence, achievement, independence and freedom).
Needs for self-realization: these are the internal needs for spiritual and moral development, seeking a mission or goal in life, doing volunteer work, etc.