“Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves - regret for the past and fear of the future.” ~ Fulton Oursle

Friday, September 14, 2012

Hierarchy of Needs


 
 
"What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization…It refers to the desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actualized in what he is potentially. This tendency might be phrased as the desire to become more and more what one is, to become everything that one is capable of becoming." – Abraham Maslow

Hierarchy of Needs

The Five Levels of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

In 1943 Psychologist Abraham Maslow wrote a paper entitled "A Theory of Human Motivation", which led to his book Motivation and Personality. His hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs. If a need is not met, it is likely that the individual will continue to be detached from happiness.

This hierarchy is most often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are made up of the most basic needs, while the more complex needs are located at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep, and warmth. Once these lower-level needs have been met, people can move on to the next level of needs, which are for safety and security.
As people progress up the pyramid, needs become increasingly psychological and social. Soon, the need for love, friendship, and intimacy become important. Further up the pyramid, the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment take priority. Like Carl Rogers, Maslow emphasized the importance of self-actualization, which is a process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve individual potential.


Five Levels of the Hierarchy of Needs

1.      Physiological Needs
These include the most basic needs that are vital to survival, such as the need for water, air, food, and sleep. Maslow believed that these needs are the most basic and instinctive needs in the hierarchy because all needs become secondary until these physiological needs are met.

2.      Security Needs
These include needs for safety and security. Security needs are important for survival, but they are not as demanding as the physiological needs. Examples of security needs include a desire for steady employment, health insurance, safe neighborhoods, and shelter from the environment. 
 

3.      Social Needs
These include needs for belonging, love, and affection. Maslow considered these needs to be less basic than physiological and security needs. Relationships such as friendships, romantic attachments, and families help fulfill this need for companionship and acceptance, as does involvement in social, community, or religious group.

4.      Esteem Needs
After the first three needs have been satisfied, esteem needs becomes increasingly important. These include the need for things that reflect on self-esteem, personal worth, social recognition, and accomplishment.

5.      Self-actualizing Needs
This is the highest level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Self-actualizing people are self-aware, concerned with personal growth, less concerned with the opinions of others, and interested fulfilling their potential.

Characteristics of Self-Actualized People
In addition to describing what is meant by self-actualization in his theory, Maslow also identified some of the key characteristics of self-actualized people:

·        Acceptance and Realism: Self-actualized people have realistic perceptions of themselves, others and the world around them.
·        Problem-centering: Self-actualized individuals are concerned with solving problems outside of themselves, including helping others and finding solutions to problems in the external world. These people are often motivated by a sense of personal responsibility and ethics.
·        Spontaneity: Self-actualized people are spontaneous in their internal thoughts and outward behavior. While they can conform to rules and social expectations, they also tend to be open and unconventional.
·        Autonomy and Solitude: Another characteristic of self-actualized people is the need for independence and privacy. While they enjoy the company of others, these individuals need time to focus on developing their own individual potential.
·        Continued Freshness of Appreciation: Self-actualized people tend to view the world with a continual sense of appreciation, wonder and awe. Even simple experiences continue to be a source of inspiration and pleasure.
·        Peak Experiences: Individuals who are self-actualized often have what Maslow termed peak experiences, or moments of intense joy, wonder, awe and ecstasy. After these experiences, people feel inspired, strengthened, renewed or transformed.


http://psychology.about.com/od/theoriesofpersonality/a/hierarchyneeds.htm

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