What is the Maslow Pyramid?

We explain what is the Maslow pyramid? And how it hierarchizes the different needs of people. Example of each step.

  1. What is the Maslow Pyramid?

Maslow’s Pyramid, also called the Pyramid of Human Needs or “The Carrot” ( The Carrot ), is a psychological theory that hierarchizes the different aspects of the needs of the human being , and organizes them in a pyramidal structure (or inverted carrot) ). It was proposed by Abraham Maslow in 1943, in his book A Theory on Human Motivation (in English: A Theory of Human Motivation).

The hierarchy that organizes the needs of human beings in this pyramid comprises five levels (listed in ascending order):

  1. Basic or physiological needs . The most basic of needs refers to those necessary for the immediate physical survival of the individual, such as breathing , hydrating, feeding , sleeping, avoiding pain, eliminating body wastes, maintaining body temperature, etc.
  2. Security and protection needs . These are needs related to the protection of the elements, as well as the resources necessary to sustain life over time, such as a home, material resources, medicines, etc.
  3. Social or affiliation needs . Those linked to the gregarious and social nature of the human being, such as relationships of friendship , couple, companionship, etc.
  4. Needs esteem or recognition . Those that are linked to social positioning, the appreciation of others or recognition in a professional or vital area of ​​relevance. It is divided into two different areas, according to Marlow:
    • Estimated high . It has to do with the individual’s respect for himself, his self-worth, confidence, competence, achievements, independence, etc.
    • Estimated low . It refers to the respect that comes from others, such as attention, public recognition, fame, glory, dignity , etc.
  5. Self-realization needs . The highest step of the pyramid has to do with the vital motivation , the highest psychological need of human beings, which has to do with finding an intimate sense of existence.

Maslow’s theory was based on the fact that the satisfaction of higher needs cannot occur until the lower ones have been completely covered. In that sense, he divided the pyramid into two sets: the first four levels were considered “deficit needs or D-needs” and the tip of the pyramid “need of being or self-realization” (being needs or B-needs ), since the realization of the latter depended mainly on the previous ones.

Maslow said that only the lack or dissatisfaction of these steps mobilized people, given that the need met does not generate any behavior.

On the other hand, of all the needs of the Maslow Pyramid, only those of the first step are born with the human being , the others are acquired as they integrate into society . For this reason they predominate above the upper ones, and only by satisfying the lower step can the pyramid be climbed. On the other hand, the needs of self-realization do not occur in all individuals, and disappear from view if any of the most elementary needs momentarily fails.

Maslow Pyramid

  1. Example of the Maslow Pyramid

Here is a fictional example of the five steps of the pyramid:

  1. 1. Contribute a transcendent artistic work to humanity.
  2. 2. Carry out a university career and win art awards.
  3. 3. Friends, especially from the artistic branch. Have occasional lovers.
  4. 4. Have a stable house, a bed and an artistic workshop. To have a job.
  5. 5. Eat, drink water, sleep and bathe daily.

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