What motivates human behavior? The Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the best-known theories of motivation. According to humanist psychologist Abraham Maslow, our actions are motivated in order to achieve certain needs.
Maslow first introduced his concept of a hierarchy of needs in his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation” and his subsequent book Motivation and Personality. This hierarchy suggests that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving on to other, more advanced needs.
While some of the existing schools of thought at the time (such as psychoanalysis and behaviorism) tended to focus on problematic behaviors, Maslow was much more interested in learning about what makes people happy and the things that they do to achieve that aim.
As a humanist, Maslow believed that people have an inborn desire to be self-actualized, that is, to be all they can be. In order to achieve these ultimate goals, however, a number of more basic needs must be met such as the need for food, safety, love, and self-esteem.
There are five different levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Let’s take a closer look at Maslow’s needs starting at the lowest level, which are known as physiological needs…[ ]