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Rebel without a cause!

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Maslow's needs

Abraham Maslow's psychology theory is one of those things which when you study feel as if it was so simple that you knew it but werent able to express it in word. His theory says that we have broadly 5 hierchical levels of needs which we try to satisy. They are

1. Biological and Physiological needs - air, food, drink, shelter, warmth, sex, sleep, etc.

2. Safety needs - protection from elements, security, order, law, limits, stability, etc.

3. Belongingness and Love needs - work group, family, affection, relationships, etc.

4. Esteem needs - self-esteem, achievement, mastery, independence, status, dominance, prestige, managerial responsibility, etc.

5. Self-Actualization needs - realising personal potential, self-fulfillment, seeking personal growth and peak experiences.

He said that a person tries to first satisfy the lowest need and then goes to higher. It does seem intutively true. But what I find intriguing here is that this is not always true. One might be lacking in the lower need but still go after a higher one. And also different people have different threshold for each needs.

Mahatma Gandhi is a good example. He was clearly in level 5 but he had very little need for 1 (no clothes, very little food) or 2. Perhaps it might be also that once you reach the level 5, your requirements of the earlier one die down. Don't know how this works out.

So which level are you at? Difficult to tell, but i might be in between 3 and 4. How great it would be to get to 5. Sigh!!!

3 comments:

tihom said...

nice summary of the theory....got me thinking.....i think i am at 3....but to me it seems like even higher needs do not matter...when u are trying to satisfy a particular lvl.

Sreekumar said...

yes, infact they dont matter for when you are worried about where your next meal is coming from you wont worry about self actualization.

Sreekumar said...

Sometimes, I think I oscillate all the way from 1 to 5...living at each level for some times..but spending most of the time in between 3 and 4 and the least in 5.