Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a popular theory of human motivation developed by Abraham Maslow that suggests humans satisfy their needs in a sequential order beginning with physiological needs (food, water, sex), and ranging through safety needs (protection from harm), belongingness and love needs (companionship), esteem needs (prestige, respect of others), and finally, self-actualization needs (self-fulfillment).

According to the humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow, as material wealth becomes decreasingly relevant to personal happiness, the desire for "belonging" "self-esteem" and "self satisfaction" becomes more important. Maslow believed that people are not controlled by mechanical forces (the stimuli and reinforcement forces of behaviorism) or unconscious instinctual impulses of psychoanalysis alone. Placing actualization into a hierarchy of motivation was a groundbreaking idea. Self actualization, as Maslow called it, is the highest drive, but before a person can turn to it, he or she must satisfy other, lower motivations like hunger, safety and belonging. The hierarchy has five levels
  • Physiological (hunger, thirst, shelter, sex, etc.).
  • Safety (security, protection from physical and emotional harm).
  • Social (affection, belonging, acceptance, friendship).
  • Esteem (also called ego). The internal ones are self respect, autonomy, achievement and the external ones are status, recognition, attention.
  • Self actualization (doing things)[1]


  1. ^ American Marketing Association. Dictionary. <> (cited 30 June 2015).

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