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Video:Overview of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

with Hollie Hancock

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs lays out the basic needs that all people have, and explains the higher needs that appear once those have been fulfilled. This video from About.com will explain Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.See Transcript

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Transcript:Overview of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Hi, I'm Hollie Hancock, here today with About.com to give you an overview of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Origin of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

You're probably wondering, who is Abraham Maslow? Well, Maslow was a researcher and a pioneer in the field of psychology in the 1950's, who was seeking to synthesize a large amount of information about research related to human motivation. Ultimately, the fruits of his research were that he presented a hierarchy of needs categorized by two groups: deficiency needs and growth needs. The important thing about the hierarchy is that it is built on a foundation of basic needs that must be met and satisfied before higher levels of the needs are met. So, let's take a look at Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Physiological

So the bottom of the pyramid for Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs are our PHYSIOLOGICAL needs: those needs that are required for us to sustain life: Breathing, Sleep, Water, Food, and even Sex are important for us because we want to perpetuate the species.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Safety

The next step up on the pyramid are SAFETY needs. These needs are met when individuals feel safe and secure, with no threat of physical or emotional harm. Those areas and safety concerns are going to be: living in a safe area, medical insurance, job security, financial reserves. Difficult, I know, in this economy, but those things that are essential for us to survive.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Emotional

In the middle of Maslow's pyramid, we begin to see our emotional needs of LOVE and BELONGING. Once a person has satisfied the physiological needs like sleep and breathing, and safety - living in a safe area and knowing that you are secure from harm or threat of danger, higher needs become more important: our need for friends, our sense of belonging, and our ability to give and receive love. These are all emotional needs that need to be met as we continue through Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Esteem

Next, it becomes important as autonomous human beings to experience a sense of ESTEEM – to feel good about ourselves. We want to feel like we are important; that we matter. Those things that make us feel important and that we do matter on this earth are: self-respect, achievement, attention, recognition, and our reputation.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Self-Actualization

Finally, the apex of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is SELF-ACTUALIZATION. Self-actualization has been defined by self-help gurus and psychologists the world over. According to Maslow, self-actualization is the quest of reaching your full potential and being connected with the world. Some of those traits of being connected with the world and reaching self-actualization include: truth, wisdom, justice, morality and a lack of prejudice. Keep in mind, though, as you think about self-actualization, it's not an end point, it's not a destination. It's a journey, it's something we as humans are constantly trying to achieve.

Benefits of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Finally, the benefits of understanding Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs: Well, if you are in a social and behavioral science field as a psychologist, a counselor, a social worker, it is important to know where your clients are on the pyramid. You must understand where your patients are before you are able to address, assess or even work with psychological issues. It doesn't make a lot of sense to delve into a patient's negative childhood experiences when they are struggling to keep a roof over their head and maintain steady employment. Understanding Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a critical building block to understand other theories related to human growth and development.

Thanks for watching. I'm Hollie Hancock here with About.com. For more information, visit us online.

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