November 5, 2013
Abram Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is based on the principle that humans cannot move forward unless basic needs are met. This system is based on a pyramid, “the lower levels of the pyramid before they can successfully be motivated to tackle the next levels. The lowest four levels represent deficiency needs, and the upper three levels represent growth needs” (Martin & Joomis, 2007, Pg. 72-75).
Maslow's hierarchy of needs can be seen most in the shape of a pyramid. Whereas the pyramid has become the average way to represent the hierarchy, Maslow himself never used a pyramid to describe these levels in any of his writings on the subject. The concept of the pyramid is that the biggest section or level is at the bottom. Being the biggest it also makes the most important. It is the most fundamental level. At the top of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization at the top.
The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called "deprivation needs" or "d-needs". These needs are physiological needs, safety and security needs, social needs, and esteem needs. Physiological needs being at the bottom of the pyramid followed by the rest in that order. If these standard needs are not met it creates tension and stress on an individual. Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met before the individual will strongly desire or focus motivation upon the secondary level needs. At the top of the pyramid is a level that is known as “growth needs”. “The highest level is self-actualization, or the self-fulfillment. Behavior in this case is not driven or motivated by deficiencies but rather one’s desire for personal growth and the need to become all the things that a person is capable of becoming” (Maslow, 1970).
Level one, which is the lowest, is physiological needs; these are our basic needs that we need to survive such as food, sleep, housing, and air. Once these physiological needs are met then we can focus on the next level. Most Americans have this need met. Safety and security comes after on the pyramid. We must feel like we are in a safe environment, as a result we are secure because we feel nothing will happen to use and cause stress, anxiety, or even mental breakdowns. The next on the hierarchy of needs is level three. This is where we seek out developing meaningful relationships with the opposite sex such as girlfriend/boyfriend, begin to date, have friendships with peers, teachers, and family. Once those three levels are met an individual can focus on the last level of basic needs which is esteem. This level includes confidence, self-esteem, achievement, and respect. After all basic needs of the pyramid are met, then an individual has room for growth needs. Growth in one’s morality, creativeness, and problem solving.
Yes the hierarchy makes sense to me because when you think about this and apply it to your life, you can clearly understand that you cannot focus on needs to better yourself (growth needs) unless your most basic needs are met. Look at it this way, if you want to go to college you cannot focus on getting a higher