January 9, 2014
Instructor Daniel Jette
Psychological Needs Paper
In psychology it is important to understand what motivates individuals to think and act the way they do. Whether it is conditioned or motivated internally or externally psychologist need to explore the reasons and stimulus behind the actions their subjects make. One theory is humanistic in which the importance of psychological and cognitive factors are motivated by the realization of an individuals personal potential. In the late 1950s one psychologist championed this humanistic theory by the name of Abraham Marslow. Marslow believed people strive to meet their highest personal potential not only based on their emotional being, but also with the given environment the individuals participate in. Whether Marslow is correct or off base, he brings up some interesting questions as to what motivates people’s actions and thoughts. Abraham Marslow model of human motivation was developed in the 1940s and 1950s. As other humanistic psychologist had thought, Marslow acknowledged that biological needs influence individual’s motivations. Marslow went one step further the than biological needs of people. He believed that once a person reaches their biological needs, the individual will then be motivated by higher psychological needs. The hierarchy model is based on a pyramid where basic needs are the base of the pyramid. Within the base of the pyramid there lies two levels. The first is physiological needs such as water, food, rest, and warmth. The second is safety needs. Safety needs encompass security and safety. The next level above basic is psychological needs. Within the psychological level there is belongingness/love needs and esteem needs. Belongingness and love cover intimate relationships and friendships. Esteem involves the feelings of accomplishment and prestige. At the top of the pyramid, the last level is self-fulfillment needs. Self-fulfillment relates to self-actualization, which is about achieving ones full potential including creative activities. Under Marslow’s model, motivation is the need to satisfy each level of the hierarchy before moving to the next level of the model. An individual needs to meet the two basic needs of physiological and safety before they go onto the their psychological needs of belongingness/love needs and esteem. With Maslow’s model each of the persons needs are built upon the foundation of meeting the previous needs level. Individuals will progress upward through the hierarchy because they are ultimately motivated to achieve self-actualization.
The interesting fact is that self-actualization is difficult to understand and quantify. This becomes the weak point within the hierarchy and