Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory put foward by Abraham Maslow in 1943.

The hierarchy is usally shown as a pyramid of layers, the bottom layer being the most basic of needs such as water, food and shelter.

The upper layers being the more psychological needs like self-esteem, creativity and achievement.

Maslow argued that moving up a level is only possible once your needs from the previous layers have been met. 

Changes in your life may make you move down too. Throughout your life you will move up and down the pyramid.

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Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs (2)


  • Self-actualization - Morality, creativity, spontaneity, problem solving, lack of prejudice, acceptance of facts
  • Esteem - Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect of others, respect by others
  • Love/belonging - Friendship, family, s3xual intimacy
  • Safety - Security of body, of employment, of resources, of morality, of the family, of health, of property
  • Physiological - Breathing, food, water, s3x sleep, homeostasis, excretion


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Safety Needs

Physical safety is, for example, living in a safe area or a secure home.

Economic safety is having the need for an income, a job or state benefits, having enough money to manage.

Freedom from threats, being free from bullying, not just at school but also in the workplace or from neighbours, peers, etc.

Having comfort, from people and from basic material items somewhere to live, to call home.

Peace, not being at war with others, being at peace with oneself

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Belonging and Love

Acceptance, in a job or as a person.

Group membership, not in work, but social interaction with others.

Love and affection, to feel loved, to want a relationship or to be in a relationship and to feel sexual intimacy.

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Intellectual Needs

By keeping the brain stimulated, this does not relate to the amount of qualifications that someone has but by the amount of stimulation they give themselves.

This could be by an interesting hobby or a challenging lifestlye or even attending college, reading or taking part in other activities.

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  • To have important projects
  • To want to succeed
  • To have recognition of strengths to show intelligence
  • To have prestige or status
  • A nice car
  • To have good clothes
  • To feel good about yourself
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Cognitive Needs

  • The need to learn and to learn more
  • The want to explore and find out new things
  • The need to discover and to create and to get a better understanding of the world about them
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Aesthetic Needs

  • Find the beauty of imagery and art
  • To appreciate a good book or poetry
  • To enjoy and appreciate the looks and feel of a garden
  • The beauty of nature
  • The need to explore and enjoy music
  • To absorb and observe all that is around you
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  • The highest point that everyone wants to achieve although it is very hard to get there.
  • The need to make the most of that around you and what you have got
  • To be the best in all that you do
  • To be continually challenging your self to do better
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Social Needs

These needs are met through interaction with other people, forming bonds and making friendships is important to our social advancement.

We feel depressed and lonely when close relationships break down.

  • By wanting to advance and enhance our need to be good at our job
  • To want to study and do well will also enhance our social needs
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