Maslow’s pyramid and its 5 needs


In the 1940s, the American psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a theory according to which human needs are organized in a hierarchy. He described this hierarchy in his famous “pyramid of needs”. Maslow’s pyramid is a model used to understand how individuals satisfy their needs at different levels.

What is Maslow’s pyramid?

Maslow’s pyramid is a diagram that shows how people achieve fulfillment by meeting their needs. It is composed of five distinct levels, from highest to lowest:

  • Physiological needs, such as food, water and air.
  • Safety needs, which include the desire to feel safe and protected.
  • Social needs, such as intimacy, belonging and love.
  • Esteem needs, such as self-respect, self-confidence and a sense of worth.
  • The need for self-realization, which is the highest degree of the pyramid and represents personal fulfillment.

Each level must be satisfied before the individual can move on to the next. If one or more of these needs are not met, a person may feel empty or frustrated. This is why it is important to understand Maslow’s pyramid and to try to satisfy our needs at each level.

How does the Maslow pyramid work?

According to Maslow, people tend to satisfy their basic (physiological) needs first and then work towards the top of the pyramid to satisfy their higher (self-fulfilling) needs. Once a level is satisfied, it is no longer considered a priority and the person moves on to a new level. For example, once you have found a stable job that pays enough, you start working on your self-esteem, etc.

What is the purpose of Maslow’s pyramid?

The main purpose of Maslow’s pyramid is to help people understand what needs must be met to achieve a good level of personal satisfaction. By recognizing which levels need to be met, individuals can better understand their own needs and how to meet them. For example, if you notice that you lack social acceptance, you may know that you should find ways to connect with that specific group or develop more meaningful relationships with colleagues or friends.

How to apply Maslow’s pyramid in daily life?

maslow pyramid

Although Maslow’s pyramid is essentially a cognitive theory, it has practical implications that can help people achieve greater satisfaction and well-being in their lives. The main ways in which Maslow’s pyramid can be used in daily life are as follows:

  • Learn to identify and meet basic needs. The first levels of Maslow’s pyramid are the most important because they represent the primary needs that must be satisfied in order to move on to the other levels.
  • Work on the needs of the community. The needs in the middle of the pyramid (security, social and esteem) are often the most difficult to satisfy because they require more personal and social work. This means that it can be helpful to take the time to understand how to meet these needs.
  • Seek self-actualization. The last level of the pyramid is the most difficult to reach, as it requires a deep understanding of oneself and one’s possibilities. Finding ways to move toward higher goals, learn new skills, and follow passions can help people achieve a deeper sense of satisfaction and well-being.

By considering the five levels of Maslow’s pyramid and striving to reach each level, people can find more satisfaction and well-being in their lives.

Amandine Carpentier

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