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Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs

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The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory in psychology comprises a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted in the form of a pyramid. According to the theory, human needs, lowering down the hierarchy, must be satisfied prior to attending the needs that are already on the top. If we are to look at the pyramid of hierarchy from the bottom, then the needs are as follows:

  • Physiological
  • Safety
  • Love and belonging
  • Esteem
  • Self-actualization.

In addition to getting the hang of these basics, Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs comprises various other aspects. Now that you are eager to know about each one of them, take some time to read this informative blog for more details and insightful knowledge.

Decoding the Five Stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs encompasses five key aspects as mentioned above. In order to get into the nitty-gritty details of the various stages of needs, let’s explore the five crucial stages here.

  • Physiological needs: Physiological needs are said to be the foundation of Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs. These include survival needs such as the need for sleep, food, air and reproduction. Physiological needs are the requirements we all need for basic human survival. If physiological needs are not met, the human body struggles to function or lead a sustainable life.
  • Safety needs: The aspect of safety needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs refers to the requirements associated with security and protection. Once the physiological needs such as food and water are met, our need for security and protection tends to dominate. These needs are directly related to our natural desire for a predictable world, future assumptions and inhibitions concerning one’s safety. Safety needs in today’s world mainly include job security, savings account, future investments, health and well-being, safe possession of jewellery and other essentials, and the likes.
  • Love and belongingness: Once our physiological and safety needs are met, we tend to move up toward the third stage of the hierarchy, which is love and feelings of belongingness. It is said that the need for interpersonal relationship motivates behavior. If we are to name a few examples of the need for love and belongingness the friendship, intimacy, trust and acceptance get a special mention.
  • Esteem needs: Maslow has classified the esteem needs into two major categories. These are (i) Esteem for one self and (ii) the desire for reputation and gaining respect from others. To delve deeper into the particular context, take note of the fact that the esteem for one self includes dignity, independence, and mastery. The desire for reputation and gaining respect from others include prestige and acknowledgements from others.
  • Self-actualization needs: Self-actualization needs refer to the desire of becoming everything an individual is capable of becoming. This includes realizing personal potential, peak experiences, seeking personal growth, and the likes.

The Expanded Stages of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Explained

It is to be noted that Maslow’s five-stage model has been expanded with the inclusion of cognitive and aesthetic needs. It is said that changes in the five-stage model has been highlighted with seven-stage and eight-stage models, both developed and added during the period 1960’s to 1970’s.

Now that you wish to know more about the expanded stages of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, here’s everything you should know about.

  1. Psychological and biological needs: These needs refer to the need for air, drink, food, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.
  2. Safety needs: These include the need for protection from external element, security, law and order, stability, and the likes.
  3. Love and belongingness needs: This particular stage of needs includes the need for trust, friendship, intimacy, acceptance, receiving and giving love and affection to others. In addition, it also includes affiliating and being part of a particular community or group, family and friends.
  4. Esteem needs: Classified into two categories, esteem for one self and the desire for respect or reputation from others remain the same. Higher esteem needs might include the desire for knowledge, competence, freedom, independence, and the likes. However, there is thing called lower esteem need as well. These include desire for acquiring status, fame, recognition, and any other form of attention.
  5. Cognitive needs: The fifth stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs now includes Cognitive needs. These are knowledge and understanding, need for meaning and predictability, explanation, curiosity, and the likes.
  6. Aesthetic needs: Entering the sixth stage is the aesthetic need. This includes balance and form, appreciation and search for beauty, etc.
  7. Self-actualization needs: As already explained in the blog earlier, self-actualization needs include the need for realizing one’s own potential, seeking personal growth and prospect and self-fulfilment.
  8. Transcendence needs: The final stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explains that an individual is motivated by values that transcend beyond the personal self. For example, people wish to be a part of mystical or certain experiences with nature. Apart from that, the need for aesthetic experience, sexual experience, service to others, religious faith, scientific discoveries are also included in the eighth stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

It is said that the human brain is a complex system with parallel processes running at the same time. As a result, multiple motivations and desires from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs can occur at the same time. Instead of stating that an individual focuses on the desire for a certain need at a certain point and time, Maslow stated that human organisms could be “dominated” by certain desires.

He further acknowledged the likelihood that different level of motivation and desire could actually occur at any point and time in human mind. He focused on identifying the basic stages of desire and motivation and the sequence in which they would be met.

Now that you are aware of the different stages of desires as explained in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, let’s take a quick look at the various needs before wrapping up.

  • Psychological and Biological needs.
  • Safety needs.
  • Love and Belongingness needs.
  • Esteem needs.
  • Cognitive needs.
  • Aesthetic needs.
  • Self-actualization needs.
  • Transcendence needs.

So, take note of the each of the levels of human desires as stated by Maslow, and prioritise your preferences and life choices accordingly.


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Georgia Taylor

Hi, I am Georgia Taylor. I am a certified midwife nurse. Though I am a nurse by profession, I could never let my passion for reading and writing subside. Caring for ailing people gives me as much joy as does helping out students trying to earn their degrees. While working hard during my MSN days, I saw how my non-native batch mates struggled to work on English essays and assignments. As much as their dreams of getting into the medical field mattered to them, their struggle with English essay tasks was real and challenging. That's what ignited the desire to be a guide to such people. From helping my fellows to becoming a part-time English essay writer, the journey has been quite exciting. As my profession teaches us for being kind, that's my way of abiding by this responsibility. 

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