Maslow’s Pyramid


The pyramid of Maslow and Maslow ‘s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory used in the area of psychology comprising a model of five levels based on the different needs human , often represented as hierarchical levels inside a pyramid. Maslow stated that people are motivated to meet certain needs and that some needs take precedence over others. Our most basic need is physical survival , and this will be the first thing that motivates our behavior.. Once that level is reached, the next level is what motivates us to reach the next, and so on.


Maslow’s pyramid

The Maslow pyramid or the hierarchy of human needs is a theory proposed by Abraham Maslow who says that as they are to meet the different needs most basic, human beings develop more needs and desires.


What is Maslow’s pyramid?

This pyramid model consists of five stages that can be divided according to the deficiency and growth needs of the human being. The first four levels are often called the deficiency needs and the top level is known as the growth level . These deficiency needs arise from deprivation and are said to motivate people when they are not satisfied. Furthermore, the motivation to satisfy such needs will become stronger the longer the denial duration . For example, the longer a person goes without food, the hungrier they will be. When a deficit needIt has been partly satisfied , it will disappear, and our activities will usually be directed towards the next set of needs that we still have to satisfy. So these become our main needs . However, growth needs continue and may become stronger once a commitment to achieving them has been made. According to Maslow, the growth needs that arise do not come from a lack of something, but from the desire to grow as a person . Once these growth needs have been reasonably satisfied, one can reach the highest level called self actualization.


Characteristics of Maslow’s pyramid

  • Needs that have not been met in behavior are included in the pyramid .
  • The physiological needs are born with people and other needs they are being presented throughout life.
  • As basic needs are controlled, new higher-order needs emerge .
  • Not all individuals have self – actualization needs .
  • Basic needs require a short motivation cycle .
  • Higher needs require a cycle of motivation more long .


The main needs that human beings have according to Maslow’s pyramid are:

  • Basic Needs : These are the basic physiological needs necessary to maintain homeostasis and health ; among them we can mention:
    • Need to breathe, drink water, and feed.
    • Need to maintain pH balance and body temperature.
    • Need to sleep, rest and eliminate toxic waste from the body.
    • Need to avoid pain and to have sex.
  • Safety and protection needs : They arise once the physiological needs have been and remain compensated . They are the needs that man has to feel safe and protected , within them we find:
    • Physical and health security .
    • Security of having decent employment, good income and resources.
    • Moral, family and private property security.
  • Needs for affiliation and affection:  These are closely related to the emotional development of each individual, and can be reached met through activities sports , cultural and recreational , for man has the need to interact and be part of a community, then we can say that they are the needs of:
    • Association
    • Participation
    • Acceptance
  • Esteem needs : In this regard, Maslow described two types of esteem needs , a high esteem that implies the need for self- respect and that includes feelings such as confidence, achievement, independence and freedom ; and a drop , which involves issues related to respect, such as the need for attention, recognition, reputation, fame and dominance. When there is a drop in these needs, low self-esteem and inferiority complexes occur .

The last level belongs to the need for self – actualization or self-actualization , and it is a psychological need that is at the top of the needs. The human being achieves this level when he manages to satisfy all the other levels.

Criticism of Maslow’s pyramid

The criticisms that have arisen and that have been made regarding Maslow’s pyramid revolve around the fact that for many it is very complicated in terms of its operation . Some experts insist that there is no evidence that all people have the ability to become self-realized . There are those who think that his theory and his concepts are already obsolete because only the basic needs of the individual are studied , but not of the individual made society . For some, happiness is a concept that can be achieved, but for others, it is a merely utopian concept..


An example from real life would be the case of a child who at the beginning of his life was hungry and cold , but his parents find good jobs and he begins to have access to satisfy his basic needs . Later, the boy grows up in a not very safe neighborhood, so his parents buy a house in a better neighborhood. Once there, he feels alone and without friends, but after a few days he is accepted by his classmates . He is not very agile in sports and is afraid of failing, but with time, he will succeedthe team of basketball . Over time, he becomes a famous athlete , which allows him to be admired by the world and end up satisfied with his achievements , so he is able to value everything he has achieved.

Leave a Comment