Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs Full Explained [2021]

Maslow's hierarchy of needs may be a "motivational theory in psychology" comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid.

From the rock bottom of the hierarchy upwards, the requirements are: physiological (food and clothing), safety (job security), love and belonging needs (friendship), esteem, and self-actualization.


 Abraham Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Needs lower down within the hierarchy must be satisfied before individuals can attend to the needs above.

Deficiency needs vs. Growth needs

This five-stage model in Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. the primary four levels are often mentioned as deficiency needs (D-needs), and therefore the top level is understood as growth or being needs (B-needs).

Deficiency needs arise thanks to deprivation and are said to motivate people once they are unmet. Also, the motivation to satisfy such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they're denied. for instance, the longer an individual goes without food, the more hungry they're going to become.

Abraham Maslow (1943) initially stated that individuals must satisfy lower level deficit needs before progressing on to satisfy higher level growth needs. However, he later clarified that satisfaction of a needs isn't an “all-or-none” phenomenon, admitting that his earlier statements may have given “the misunderstanding that a requirement must be satisfied one hundred pc before subsequent need emerges.”

When a deficit need has been 'more or less satisfied it'll getaway, and our activities become habitually directed towards meeting a subsequent set of needs that we've yet to satisfy. These then become our salient needs. However, growth needs still be felt and should even become stronger once they need been engaged.

Growth needs don't stem from a scarcity of something, but rather from a desire to grow as an individual. Once these growth needs are reasonably satisfied, one could also be ready to reach the very best level called self-actualization.

Every person is capable and has the will to maneuver up the hierarchy toward A level of self-actualization. Unfortunately, progress is usually disrupted by a failure to satisfy lower-level needs. Life experiences, including divorce and loss of employment, may cause a private to fluctuate between levels of the hierarchy.

Therefore, not everyone will move through the hierarchy during a uni-directional manner but may withdraw and forth between the various sorts of needs.

5 Levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

The hierarchy described in Maslow’s theory is a pyramid. rock bottom levels of the pyramid are the foremost basic human needs we require a day. Going upwards, we might study the more advanced human needs


1. Physiological Needs

These most elementary human survival needs include food and water, sufficient rest, clothing and shelter, overall health, and reproduction. Maslow states that these basic physiological needs must be addressed before humans advance to a subsequent level of fulfillment.

When you mention the foremost basic needs of humans then these are surely the physiological needs that include the very things that we'd like for our survival a day. a number of these are:
  • Water
  • Air
  • Food
If you’re battling the requirements that lie further up the list, it'd be worth considering whether all of your basic physiological needs are being met.

2. Safety Needs

Next among the lower-level needs in Maslow's Theory is safety. They also relate to our basic health, this is often about physical safety, like protection from violence, but also about financial security, freedom from accidents, and therefore the security of easily accessible healthcare.

People want their whole life to maneuver on a planned and secured trajectory that doesn’t cause them any harm.
Some of the elemental safety elements that humans strive for are:
  • Health and wellness
  • Safety against any injury
  • Financial Security

3. Social Needs

The social needs are on the third level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relate to human interaction and are the last of the so-called lower needs. these needs include friendships and family bonds—both with biological family (parents, siblings, children) and chosen family (spouses and partners).

We need friendships, relations, and emotional intimacy with other people. Different people in several societies meet this need in several ways: for a few people, their need for social belonging could be met entirely within their extended family; for others, it'd be organized activities.
Some of the items that fulfill the requirements of this level are:
  • Family Interactions
  • Social groups
  • Romantic affiliations
  • Friendships
  • Community groups
  • Religious affiliations

4. Esteem Needs

Abraham Maslow noted that esteem comes in two different forms. The ‘lower’ form is that the need for the esteem of others. At now, We become kind of hooked on the love and respect we receive from others.

The higher needs, are ego-driven needs. the first elements of esteem are self-respect (the belief that you simply are valuable and deserving of dignity) and self-esteem (confidence in your potential for private growth and accomplishments).

Being without either quiet esteem can leave you feeling useless, helpless, or inferior. the necessity for belonging and therefore the need for esteem is classed as psychological needs. In addition to elements sort of a sense of recognition, accomplishment, and prestige, esteem needs also contain elements like personal worth and self-esteem.

5. Self-Actualization Needs

At the very top of  Abraham Maslow's pyramid are the self-actualization needs that contain everything that a person is often and what he must become. When people reach this level, they're very self-aware and are more concerned with self-growth, and that they don’t care about anything people say about them.

This is perhaps the toughest level to define because it means various things to different people. Broadly, it’s about fulfilling the complete extent of your own potential across all the areas that are personally important to you.
Sometimes called self-fulfillment needs, self-actualization needs occupy the very best spot on Maslow's pyramid. Self-actualization needs include education, skill development—the refining of talents in areas like music, athletics, design, cooking, and gardening

Characteristics of self-actualizers:

  • Spontaneous in thought and action
  • Problem-centered 
  • Unusual sense of humor
  • ready to check out life objectively
  • Highly creative
  • immune to enculturation, but not purposely unconventional
  • Concerned for the welfare of humanity
  • Need for privacy
  • Democratic attitudes
  • They perceive reality efficiently and may tolerate uncertainty
  • Accept themselves et al. for what they are
  • Capable of deep appreciation of basic life-experience
  • Establish deep satisfying interpersonal relationships with a couple of people
  • Peak experience
  • Strong moral/ethical standards.

Major Criticism of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs

Maslow's hierarchy of needs has widespread influence outside academia. As Uriel Abulof said, "The continued resonance of Maslow's theory within the popular imagination, however unscientific it's going to seem, is possibly the only most telling evidence of its significance: it explains attribute as something that the majority humans immediately recognize in themselves. Still, academically, Maslow's idea is heavily contested.

As Maslow’s theory has become famous over the years, it's clear that Maslow’s contribution to psychology was momentous. Yet, while some research shows some support for Maslow's theories, most research has not been ready to substantiate the thought of a needs hierarchy.

Wahba and Bridwell (1976), for instance, reported that there was little evidence for Maslow's ranking of those needs and even less evidence that these needs are during a hierarchical order. As Nadler and Lawler (1979), Denning (2010), and Rutledge (2011) mean, other criticisms of Maslow’s theory note that his definition of self-actualization is difficult to check scientifically.

Maslow's research on self-actualization was also supported a really limited sample of people, including people he knew, also as biographies of famous individuals that Maslow believed to be self-actualized, like Einstein and Roosevelt. supported psychological research of human coping mechanisms.

Graves (1970) provided an alternative theoretical perspective on human behavior. He explains an open system of theory. His theory was figured out in “Spiral Dynamics” by Beck and Cowan (2005). the idea was utilized in South Africa, validating the idea during turbulent times and beyond.