Why Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Matters


One of the most legendary ideas in the history
of psychology is located in an unassuming triangle divided into five sections referred
to universally simply as ‘Maslow’s Pyramid of Needs’.This profoundly influential pyramid
first saw the world in an academic journal in the United States in 1943, where it was
crudely drawn in black and white and surrounded by dense and jargon-rich text. It has since
become a mainstay of psychological analyses, business presentations and TED Talks
– and grown ever more colourful and emphatic in the process.The pyramid was the work of
a thirty-five year old Jewish psychologist of Russian origins called Abraham Maslow,
who had been looking, since the start of his professional career, for nothing less than
the meaning of life. No longer part of the close-knit orthodox family of his youth, Maslow
wanted to find out what could make life purposeful for people (himself included) in modern-day
America, a country where the pursuit of money and fame seemed to have eclipsed any more
interior or authentic aspirations. He saw psychology as the discipline that would enable
him to answer the yearnings and questions that people had once taken to religion. He suddenly saw that human beings could be said to have essentially five different kinds of
need: on the one hand, the psychological or what one could term, without any mysticism
being meant by the word, the spiritual and on the other, the material. For Maslow, we
all start with a set of utterly non-negotiable and basic physiological needs, for food, water,
warmth and rest. In addition, we have urgent safety needs for bodily security and protection
from attack. But then we start to enter the spiritual domain. We need belongingness and
love. We need friends and lovers, we need esteem and respect. And lastly, and most grandly,
we are driven by what Maslow called – in a now legendary term – an urge for self-actualization:
a vast, touchingly nebulous and yet hugely apt concept involving what Maslow described
as ‘living according to one’s full potential’ and ‘becoming who we really are.’ Part of the reason why the description of these needs,
laid out in pyramid-form, has proved so persuasive is their capacity to capture, with elemental
simplicity, a profound structural truth about human existence. Maslow was putting his finger,
with unusual deftness and precision, on a set of answers to very large questions that
tend to confuse and perplex us viciously, particularly when we are young, namely: What
are we really after? What do we long for? And how do we arrange our priorities and give
due regard for the different and competing claims we have on our attention? Maslow was
reminding us with artistic concision of the shape of an ideal well-lived life, proposing
at once that we cannot live by our spiritual callings alone, but also that it cannot be
right to remain focused only on the material either. We need, to be whole, both the material
and the spiritual realms to be attended to, the base lending support while the summit
offers upward direction and definition. Maslow was rebutting calls from two kinds of zealots:
firstly, over-ardent spiritual types who might urge us to forget entirely about money, housing,
a good insurance policy and enough to pay for lunch. But he was also fighting against
extreme hard-nosed pragmatists who might imply that life was simply a brute process of putting
food on the table and going to the office. Both camps had – for Maslow – misunderstood
the complexity of the human animal. Unlike other creatures, we truly are multifaceted,
called at once to unfurl our soul according to its inner destiny – and to make sure
we can pay the bills at the end of the month. Operating at the heyday of American capitalism, Maslow
was interestingly ambivalent about business. He was awed by the material resources of large
corporations around him but at the same time he lamented that almost all their economic
activity was – unfairly and bizarrely – focused on honouring customers’ needs at the bottom
of his pyramid. America’s largest companies were helping people to have a roof of their
heads, feeding them, moving them around and ensuring they could talk to each other long-distance.
But they seemed utterly uninterested in trying to fulfill the essential spiritual appetites
defined on the higher slopes of his pyramid. Towards the end of his long life, Maslow expressed
a hope that businesses could in time learn to make more of their profits from addressing
not only our basic needs but also – and as importantly – our higher spiritual and
psychological ones as well. That would be truly enlightened capitalism. In the personal
sphere, Maslow’s pyramid remains a hugely useful object to turn to whenever we are trying
to assess the direction of our lives. Often, as we reflect upon it, we start to notice
that we really haven’t arranged and balanced our needs as wisely and elegantly as we might.
Some lives have got an implausibly wide base: all the energy seems directed towards material
accumulation. At the same time, there are lives with the opposite problem, where we
have not paid due head to our need to look after our fragile and vulnerable bodies. Maslow
was pointing us to the need for a greater balance between the many priorities we must
juggle. His beautifully simple visual cue is, above anything else, a portrait of a life
lived in harmony with the complexities of our nature. We should, at our less frantic
moments, use it to reflect with newfound focus on what it is we might do next. Our Decision Dice are a tool to help you make wiser decisions in Work, Love and the rest of your life.

100 thoughts on “Why Maslow’s Hierarchy Of Needs Matters”

  1. How does your life measure up on Maslow's Hierarchy? Let us know in the comments below and to join your fellow School of Life audience members, be sure to download our new free app: https://bit.ly/2VysjqM

  2. It would be difficult to generalize the whole thing across the Nations. What I want to say is that this pyramid of hierarchy works different for west and for countries like third world countries , the countries where government does not pay any attention towards the the base of the pyramid while in many of the developed Nations or in the West there is a concept of social welfare State where they at least take some worries of the people at the base of this pyramid and provide them security, shelter healthcare and good quality education for their kids, all free. Though, people are taxed on their earnings but against their tax, they get all of these basic necessities of life (of reasonably good quality).. I am talking about the countries like scandinavians Germany and to some extent UK.

    While for most of the countries of third world such as India, Pakistan and African countries and to some extent United States,,

    unfortunately in India and pakistian, state does not take any responsibility towards the real well being of their citizens. we are on our own to fund the education of children from preschool to University. we are on our own to earn sufficient amount of money to spend on expensive healthcare.. we are on our own to accumulate a great deal of money over a period of 15 to 20 years to buy somewhat decent house…

    And unfortunately till death our lives revolve around the base of this pyramid.

  3. Maslow is like all his Frankfurt School Marxists ..is.an idiot. What in Hell does he think traditional society ..with the church and innumerable civil and civic organizations did . and even businesses who e.g. would NOT open on Sunday..They were looking out for the Spiritual needs. What Maslow and his other anti Western , anti Christian zealots really wanted to do was dismantle the West via dismantling the family and thus the churches and make society alienated and naive toward revolution. No coincidence that they are jews who hate Christ and his churches.

  4. I'm stuck on the second stage of the hierarchy and all the advice I'm given is "love yourself first" but I can't truly love myself if I can't get to the fourth stage.

  5. A pretty good theory. Gives a general understanding of what humans desire. In today's time, I believe most people get so caught up in self esteem needs and forget that their are others out their who are lucky to even meet physiological and safety needs from day to day.

    Not to say self-esteem needs isnt relevant, rather, be appreciative of securing the survival needs.

  6. Maslow's hierarchy is an overblown charade. It is a static representation of aspects of human life and completely ignores the dynamic interplay between these 'needs'. Counter examples to Maslow's non-research (that is his idea is not a result of research, but a guess based on qualitative impressions) are everywhere: teams that work through lunch and loose sleep because of their enthusiasm for a project, individuals who do the same. People who do great creative work to feed themselves and their families. People and their motivations are not reducable to such a trivial motif.

  7. Thanks to a CONservative Socialist CUNT called Margaret Thatcher, Maslow's Pyramid of Needs became Thatcher's Inverse Pyramid of GREED! After ALL, I, as a woman who was forced to work a 40 hour week straight from school in a Tory Youth training scheme in 1984 for £34.99(88 pence an hour), which increased to £1.66 an hour once I was given a permanent work contract in 1985, with (No Child Benefits or Working Tax Credits), after all, I didn't leave school with ready made children of my own in NEED. I was also robbed of my NEED, thanks to Thatcher the Milk Snatcher's Collective CUNT Poll Tax in 1988 and Council TAXES which replaced the fairer Household RatesTax which had been paid only by the Householder who was the working Father in the Family Household. I was forced to pay by the corrupt British State for the past 30 years these robber Baron Taxes, after 2 government state officials visited my parents household in 1990 when I was at work and left word with my Mother to let me know, that as a woman out working with no children of my own, that this illegal Poll Tax would be forcibly arrested from my Bank account to pay for a Household that wasn't my OWN. The corrupt Tory government then proceeded to arrest from my Bank account £55.00 a month annually(£715.00), then £65.00 a month annually(£845.00), eventually increasing to £90.00 a month annually(£1170.00) for the right to no social life, holidays or Family life of my own. After all, I was being robbed by the Corrupt state of MY NEED by these despicable Tory Poll and Council Taxes, which was the money I was working damn hard to earn in the first place. After all, when I left school in 1984 I had NOTHING, I wasn't in receipt of any social welfare benefits or disability benefits. The money I was working damn hard to earn was my NEED to enable me to have a social life in order that I could have my inalienable right like everyone else to meet someone and have the right to a Family life of my own. But the corrupt rogue CONservative government under Margaret Thatcher(who had had her right to a Family life, after all, when she left school she didn't have to pay a Poll or Council Tax) but this Frankenstein MONSTER deliberately introduced corrupt policies which ensured that the only way a WOMAN like myself was going to have her right to a Family life was by becoming a Single Parent FREELOADER, who was dependent upon welfare state Benefits to pay for her Family and Household living costs. After all, the single parent Freeloading households have never paid a penny in these illegal Poll and Council Taxes which I have been forced to pay for the past 30 years. That's the Real SOCIAL INJUSTICE, for if ONE Woman has to pay these Taxes, ALL WOMEN, should have had to pay these Taxes. Only a SCUM SOCIETY takes money off of a woman in Poll and Council Taxes who has been robbed of her right to have children of her own, after all, where are my children who are going to help me in later life like I have had to help my parents in their later life. Britain is the land of the Rising SCUM thanks to Tory SCUM and their GREED. After all, the Tory Motto is obviously, "From Each according to his NEED to Each according to his GREED"! After all, It's a CRIME, that after years and years of hard WORK and TOIL, I've not got a DIME, in the land of the TORY SWINE".

  8. Have you ever thought about this hierarchy not applying to the whole world but only those who live a life in Western hemisphere and whose basic needs happen to be met? Tell that to those who starve.

  9. i had to thumbs down this video because you never mention sex as a need at the bottom of the pyramid, its a big, big important need for psychological well being

  10. Please start an Economics series, some of the influential thinkers of Economics were even subjects in your Political Theory videos 🙂

  11. Maslows Pyramid is good, it has value for Soviet Goons n snot nosed gabshites but I much prefer John Waynes hierarchy of needs & it can be summarized as such … A mans gotta do what a man's gotta do

  12. This concept of the hierarchy of needs can be applied to any human construct, even something as wishy washy as the Hollywood film industry. Currently most directors, corporate managers, and producers are too focused on trying to sell a film product that somewhat satisfies the physical and politically correct needs catering to a small minority of movie watchers. This in turn causes movies to feel like they're missing the need to satisfy the audience as a whole because they do not flesh out the spiritual needs that would make a film feel like a really good movie. In other words, it's a movie but it's not a good movie because the story is bad and doesn't satisfy the need for excitement and suspense. As we move towards the end of the decade, I've noticed a dramatic change in how recent movies are skewedly viewed by both the directors and the audience. We the audience love films that create a setting that is not like our own world and take us on an adventure to escape the harshness of our own political reality. When a political concept is being pushed as the forefront and seen as a main theme into a film, the film doesn't capture the audience's attention effectively and instead causes confusion as to why we are being lectured about social injustice rather than just letting us sit down and enjoy a good story with great visuals. Most themes and perspectives are being shown as a hidden philosophical or psychological theme that is shown in the film but explains it in a way that doesn't take over the overall plot of the film. Films like Star Wars The Last Jedi, Captain Marvel, Terminator Dark Fate as well as Dark Phoenix an Xmen film have made an effort to push a the political concept of feminism to the point where the general audience take to social media to complain about the social change in films. Naturally film directors and actors who worked on those films feel obligated to defend the films they created and start this unreasonable political war online over how films should be made. If we take the time to listen to all types of opinions and apply the pyramid of hierarchy to satisfy all of our needs, we might get films in the future that put already amazing films to shame and make them slightly closer to a perfect filming experience.

  13. Here it says that maslow is a jewish psychologist of russian origin, but on google search he's plain american. Fishy.

  14. I think this triangle is one of the most bullshit pieces of mainstream cod-psychology ever devised. Like who says certain needs are more important than others to everyone? Besides air and water and food this is completely baseless.

  15. It matters because of freedom. People have no freedom until food, shelter and clothing needs are met. freedom…

  16. The mistake is thinking the hierarchy is bottom to top sequential. We all go up and down everyday. And sex is not really addressed as it permeates life at any stage of the pyramid.

  17. Ahh, hmmm, not sure if it matters as it somewhat resembles the uh 'food pyramid,' and we now know that doesn't matter. You really are hamstringing yourself with limited means and methodology if you believe this is how it always is, or 'has' to be…I will grant you that people have different thresholds and/or tolerances, forsight/vision/intuition or lack thereof, which is what I think this really alludes to…

  18. I've always enjoyed these videos… That is until now… "Decisions Dice" that's a satirical joke, right? Please tell me it's not meant to be serious…

  19. Maslow put no scientific research into his development of his "Hierarchy of Needs." He simply read some pre-writren material and then made it up. Although a social science, psychology can still use the scientific method as a primary tool of discovery. Maslow's Pyramid isn't scientific in the least. The placement of several of his needs has been debated and criticized since it's creation. This is all pseudoscience and you should remove it.

  20. At 4:30 they show Denny's, but they didn't exist until 1963. So using this prop while talking about the US in the 1940's is off.

  21. It is sad to realise that I am probably only on the first or second level of the pyramid. I still struggle to maintain financially stability, which means my safety and security needs are never fully met. Sigh No wonder I can't figure out what to do in order to "self-actualize".

  22. 1975 college psych 101. Needs? Or are they wants? Either way, get a coffee and they will soon be forgotten, or should be 'cause it's all nonsense. Your heart will tell you everything you need to know.

  23. I do not believe in self actualization. I have placed Jesus on the throne of my life and I am actualized by Jesus. Instead of me being the god of my life, the only One who is worthy is now the one who actualizes me. It is amazing,how children in public schools are indoctrinated in untruths, that is lies like evolution and humanism.

  24. Mmm, this Maslov is shockingly incomplete. It operates in a bubble of human society. And what does that need to be healthy? Service to nature and the whole. Self Actualization is wrongly placed at the top. Read more about it here: https://medium.com/the-gentle-revolution/maslov-revisited-33588be58032

  25. It's very very interesting, how this delicate balance can be upset with the smallest nuances. Im a professor that teaches this to my students.

  26. Maslow's Hierarchy of needs has been proven wrong by all REAL SCIENTIFICS researchs. Stop spreading that stupid things. Go for the ADT (autodetermination theory) of Ryan & Decy instead.

  27. This day is the Cosmo energy allness.
    Eg energy of science
    Energy of spirituality
    To conscious in every consciousness in three dimensional directives.
    THE ULTIMATE ENERGY BEYOND THE YONDER.
    YOU .I EVERY ONE.

    NOW
    THE COSMO COMPUTATIONAL ALPHA NUMERAL.TO WORD KNOWLEDGE INTEL. ALLNESS.
    WE HAVE THE ALLNESS IN US.
    MAY WE COLLECTIVELY COME IN TOGETHERNESS.
    YOU ARE THE COSMO SCIENTISTS TO SCIENCE THE SCIENCE ALLNESS

    YOU ARE THE ENERGY BEING TO SPIRITUAL IN EVERY SPIRITUALITY.
    THE SCIENCE OF ALPHA NUMERAL.
    THE SPIRITUALITY TO SPIRITUAL ALLNESS.
    WE ARE ONE TO KNOW THE VECTORS OF THE MIDPOINTS TO JOIN IN GREATNESS .

    WE ARE GIFTED .LET US GIFT TO ALL.
    THANK YOU

  28. It's not a pyramid. How are we supposed to take seriously someone who doesn't know the difference between a pyramid and a triangle? Yes, that's right. I play pyramid in an orchestra.

  29. It matters because its the truth about life and fulfillment.
    Companies abuse the steps by skipping or downgrading the importance of $.

  30. If you're going to talk about Maslow's Pyramid of needs, you're not educating your viewers unless you also speak about how much of it psychologists actually still use, and how much of it has been disproven or called into question. His sample-size for his research was small and doesn't prove much. You're two years later than psishow Psych, offer over-simplified, outdated information, and don't cite your sources. Please do better.

    The nuances of Maslow's Pyramid:
    https://youtu.be/pEpt20-gn9Q

  31. can i add that triangles supporting other triangles or other shapes will in the end make things even out like one has alot of spiritual stuff while the other material both interating and in the end both gaining from each others support. because its better to be efficient in ones purpose to gain highly in one's field ultimitly benifiting others. why give 50% when you can give 100% or 110% others will compensate it be giving there % to push towards the greater goal. well this is an idea

  32. I really like this channel but the fact that it most prominently references western works of art and ways of thinking is tiresome and narrow-minded. I would love it if more african philosophies were explored to present a more holistic multicultured worldview. Allowing viewers to make decisions that fit themselves instead of presenting one that may be most popular in todays culture.

  33. My take on life is that it might be a tie game. I.e, at the end of life itself, we realize; life itself doesn't count.
    No point is given, no point is taken. Naked we came, naked we shall return. The Egyptians tried taking everything along; didn't archeologist dig em out to auctions their possesion?😂😂

    Capitalism, the economy, the stock market etc, is only a distraction.

  34. This is all bullshit, because these views are based on perception only. When the rug gets pulled out no matter how wonderful your life is all this become meaningless. Because of the work I do I rub elbows with people that meet all the criteria on this pyramid and many of them are quite nebulous and self centered. The first time I saw this pyramid was from a friend that was VP of a major company and he was explaining how his life had met all these levels. Inwardly I laughed because he seems pretty miserable and vindictive.

  35. It's important because the Chinese communists think if they increase living standards that people will forget about democracy and civil rights LOL. That's a laugh. It only makes them demand them more.

  36. i wonder what percentage of people on earth actually have all 5? 50% divorce rates, most common answer of close friends is zero, most people living in poverty, menial jobs, seems like less than 5% to me

  37. So where do men fit in in this Hierarchy Of Need pyramid ? They build it, maintain it but can not enter it unless through process of magic they are transformed into women.
    I would burn it down and go back to grass huts and caves.

  38. So if the 'Blongingness' or other needs requiring other human participation to be met, are not, does that mean something is wrong with society and not myself after all? Hmm. Interesting. </sarcasm> Maslow was an idiot. Obviously if other humans (lovers, friends with benefits, etc. because let's not be coy that is EXACTLY hwat you/he meant) were needed, we would not have opposable thumbs and the ability to pleasure ourselves when needed like a fucking adult.

  39. MASLOW THEORY ko hindi mein samajne ke liye sabse easy and interesting video :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kWbXexxlOuI

    Easily Explained in Hindi : MASLOW'S THEORY | Step by Step

  40. I first learned about this in college at the age of 25 . My children are two and six . I make them repeat this once a month .

  41. Clear he didnt have as much knowledge about capitalism and how it would evolve vs how brilliant he was in his day. Glad he was tho, gave us great insight.

  42. Hierarchy of Needs: A core principle of Maslow's theory of motivation, which presents the revolutionary claim that when it comes to needs, first things first, or always drive with your horse before your cart. Thus we must achieve lower needs (food, shelter, safety) before we can achieve higher needs, such as belonging, self-esteem, or self-actualization. Thus, before you can bond with your bowling league buddies (belonging needs) and win that coveted trophy (self-actualization), it is useful to first not be a homeless, starving vagrant.
    from Dr. Mezmer’s World of Bad Psychology, found on an internet near you!

  43. This reminds me so much of my high school psychology class with my favorite teacher ever Mr. Kochel in the year 2009 learning about Maslow‘s hierarchy of needs.. ah the good ol days though they’re not too far in the past. I’m here watching his video on my phone in my truck at work. Fulfilling several of these needs concurrently.

  44. Ok… I hate to say this but… I think Trump won the election because he inadvertently appealed to people (many) who had needs at the bottom of the pyramid. They lost their jobs and money and food etc. were hard to come by. In the meantime, Hillary seemed to concentrate more on the higher-level needs (even things like political correctness issues) which just wasn't quite the right message at a time when so many people were hurting for basic things. My worry is the Democrats are going to make this mistake again. Look at Warren's attacks on Facebook. She may be right in attacking Facebook but actually, it's a non-issue to the public in general and in the meantime, despite that the public may at least have jobs, they still don't feel like they are making a good living and everyone is always worried they are one hospital bill away from bankruptcy. Warren has addressed that, sure, but that seems to have dimmed lately with more talk about Facebook. I would say to the Democrats that they need to worry more about addressing the lower-level needs of the public at this point. If things get better, then move on to the higher-level needs.

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