Maslow's hierarchy of needs

  

Definition

Motivation theory which suggests five interdependent levels of basic human needs (motivators) that must be satisfied in a strict sequence starting with the lowest level. Physiological needs for survival (to stay alive and reproduce) and security (to feel safe) are the most fundamental and most pressing needs. They are followed by social needs (for love and belonging) and self-esteem needs (to feel worthy, respected, and have status). The final and highest level needs are self-actualization needs (self-fulfillment and achievement). Its underlying theme is that human beings are 'wanting' beings: as they satisfy one need the next emerges on its own and demands satisfaction ... and so on until the need for self-actualization that, by its very nature, cannot be fully satisfied and thus does not generate more needs. This theory states that once a need is satisfied, it stops being a motivator of human beings. In personnel management, it is used in design of incentive schemes. In marketing, it is used in design of promotional campaigns based on the perceived needs of a market segment a product satisfies. Named after its originator, the US psychologist Abraham Harold Maslow (1908-70) who proposed it in 1954.

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