Abraham Maslow’s Needs Hierarchy Theory



Behavior is determined by an individual’s strongest needs, but the lower-level needs must be satisfied before the next higher-level needs can motivate behavior. People are motivated to satisfy five categories of needs.


1) Physiological Needs (food, shelter, clothing) Physical and psychological survival.  These are usually associated with money.

2) Safety Needs (security, freedom from threat or disease, avoidance of pain) Safety needs are crucial for infants.

3) Social Needs (friendship and affection) Relationship building. Striving for acceptance.

4) Esteem Needs (recognition, respect, and responsibility) Esteem needs only occur when a person is comfortably situated. Esteem needs come from others (respect), and then internalized (self-respect). Prestige and power are motivators.

5) Self-Actualization (creativity and self-expression) Enhancement of life. An extremely small portion of the population is self-actualized. Are people every satisfied?



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