Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: A Reflection

Abraham Maslow, a popular psychologist during 1950’s to 1970’s has developed a model on how people could test their personality, based on their needs as an individual. This is called ‘Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs’. The model is illustrated as a triangle. The base of the triangle, which is the biggest, is the Psychological Need. Since this is the base of the triangle and the biggest, Maslow interpreted this as the individual’s basic needs. Most of the things that Maslow included in this area are the health and medical needs of an individual.

These things are some of the things the individual cannot live without, examples are: oxygen, sleep, physical activities, water and rest. Following the psychological need is the Safety and Security Need, which takes up the second level of the triangle. As the individual fulfills his psychological need, he will seek for order and security. Perhaps, he will seek for a secured job so that he could continually fulfill his psychological needs, or look for a shelter or community where he could find safety and serenity.

These are some examples of Safety and Security needs. The third level of the triangle is the Love and Belongingness Need. The famous quote ‘no one is an island’, best describes this need. Next level in Maslow’s model is the need for self-esteem. This need could come from the people surrounding the individual or from himself alone. The last level of the triangle is the Self-Actualization. The last level of the model according to Maslow is a little bit different among the four needs mentioned earlier.

Self-actualization happens when the individual finally fulfilled the four needs. In layman’s term, self-actualization could also mean ‘contentment or fulfillment’. However, though many psychologists and many practitioners are using Maslow’s model, there are some questionable issues as he explained his model. First issue is that, not all individual needs to fulfill the four needs before he can have self-actualization. For example, some individuals are already successful in their respective fields by living alone.

Some of these people do not need love and belongingness; in fact, they see love and belongingness as hindrance to whatever they want to achieve in life. Some people are achievers without partners in life or without even a family. Second issue is that, psychological needs encompass almost all of the needs mentioned in his model. In fact, it would be proper for Maslow to name the first level of his model as ‘Basic Needs’ instead of psychological needs.

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