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Hierarchy of Needs

418 views · 17 Mar
 Sushil Prabhat
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There comes a time in our life when we can't decide what should we do next. We are not able to prioritize our goals. We life in a state of confusion unable to decide what do we actually need. Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs ​​​​​​can help you there.

This theory was proposed by Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” in Psychological Review. Maslow stated that people are motivated to achieve certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is for physical survival, and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior. Once that level is fulfilled the next level up is what motivates us, and so on.

This five-stage model can be divided into deficiency needs and growth needs. The first four levels are often referred to as deficiency needs (D-needs), and the top level is known as growth or being needs (B-needs). Deficiency needs arise due to deprivation and are said to motivate people when they are unmet. Also, the motivation to fulfill such needs will become stronger the longer the duration they are denied. For example, the longer a person goes without food, the more hungry they will become.

In Maslow's own words:

"It is quite true that man lives by bread alone — when there is no bread. But what happens to man’s desires when there is plenty of bread and when his belly is chronically filled?

At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency" (Maslow, 1943, p. 375).

This theory was proposed based on thorough study of what he called exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams and Elanor Roosevelt rather than mentally ill or neurotic people. So, the next time when you feel perturbed and indecisive, you know how to set your priorities in a programmed way. 

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