Published on October 5, 2010
PSYCHOLOGY OF ADJUSTMENT : PSYCHOLOGY OF ADJUSTMENT DR.A. ANAND, PhD www.eisrjc.com www.peerc.com www.aerassociation.com BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS : BASIC PSYCHOLOGICAL NEEDS ABRAHAM MASLOW ABRAHAM MASLOW 1908-1970 : ABRAHAM MASLOW 1908-1970 One of the many interesting things Maslow noticed while he worked with monkeys early in his career, was that some needs take precedence over others. For example, if you are hungry and thirsty, you will tend to try to take care of the thirst first. After all, you can do without food for weeks, but you can only do without water for a couple of days! Thirst is a “stronger” need than hunger. ABRAHAM MASLOW 1908-1970 : ABRAHAM MASLOW 1908-1970 Likewise, if you are very thirsty, but someone has put a choke hold on you and you can’t breath, which is more important? The need to breathe, of course. On the other hand, sex is less powerful than any of these. Let’s face it, you won’t die if you don’t get it! Hierarchy of Needs : Hierarchy of Needs Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. Maslow took this idea and created his now famous hierarchy of needs. Beyond the details of air, water, food, and sex, he laid out five broader layers: Hierarchy of Needs : Hierarchy of Needs There are at least five sets of goals, which we may call basic needs. These are briefly 1.The Physiological Needs 2.The safety and security needs 3.The love and belonging needs 4. The esteem needs and 5. The self-actualization Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. 1. The physiological needs. These include the needs we have for oxygen, water, protein, salt, sugar, calcium, and other minerals and vitamins. They also include the need to maintain a pH balance (getting too acidic or base will kill you) and temperature (98.6 or near to it). Also, there’s the needs to be active, to rest, to sleep, to get rid of wastes (CO2, sweat, urine, and feces), to avoid pain, and to have sex. Quite a collection! Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. 2.The safety and security needs. When the physiological needs are largely taken care of, this second layer of needs comes into play. You will become increasingly interested in finding safe circumstances, stability, protection. You might develop a need for structure, for order, some limits. Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. Looking at it negatively, you become concerned, not with needs like hunger and thirst, but with your fears and anxieties. In the ordinary American adult, this set of needs manifest themselves in the form of our urges to have a home in a safe neighborhood, a little job security, a good retirement plan and a bit of insurance, and so on. Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. 3. The love and belonging needs. When physiological needs and safety needs are, by and large, taken care of, a third layer starts to show up. You begin to feel the need for friends, a sweetheart, children, affectionate relationships in general, even a sense of community. Looked at negatively, you become increasingly susceptible to loneliness and social anxieties. Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. In our day-to-day life, we exhibit these needs in our desires to marry, have a family, be a part of a community, a member of a church, a brother in the fraternity, a part of a gang or a bowling club. It is also a part of what we look for in a career. Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. 4.The Esteem Needs. Next, we begin to look for a little self-esteem. Maslow noted two versions of esteem needs, a lower one and a higher one. The lower one is the need for the respect of others, the need for status, fame, glory, recognition, attention, reputation, appreciation, dignity, even dominance. The higher form involves the need for self-respect, including such feelings as confidence, competence, achievement, mastery, independence, and freedom. Note that this is the “higher” form because, unlike the respect of others, once you have self-respect, it’s a lot harder to lose! Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. The negative version of these needs is low self-esteem and inferiority complexes. Maslow felt that Adler was really onto something when he proposed that these were at the roots of many, if not most, of our psychological problems. In modern countries, most of us have what we need in regard to our physiological and safety needs. We, more often, have quite a bit of love and belonging, too. It’s a little respect that often seems so very hard to get! Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. All of the preceding four levels he calls deficit needs, or D-needs. If you don’t have enough of something -- i.e. you have a deficit -- you feel the need. But if you get all you need, you feel nothing at all! In other words, they cease to be motivating. As the old blues song goes, “you don’t miss your water till your well runs dry!” Hierarchy of Needs. : Hierarchy of Needs. He also talks about these levels in terms of homeostasis. Homeostasis is the principle by which your furnace thermostat operates: When it gets too cold, it switches the heat on; When it gets too hot, it switches the heat off. In the same way, your body, when it lacks a certain substance, develops a hunger for it; When it gets enough of it, then the hunger stops. Maslow simply extends the homeostatic principle to needs, such as safety, belonging, and esteem, that we don’t ordinarily think of in these terms. Hierarchy of Needs : Hierarchy of Needs Self-actualization The last level is a bit different. Maslow has used a variety of terms to refer to this level: He has called it growth motivation (in contrast to deficit motivation), being needs (or B-needs, in contrast to D-needs), and self-actualization. Hierarchy of Needs : Hierarchy of Needs These are needs that do not involve balance or homeostasis. Once engaged, they continue to be felt. In fact, they are likely to become stronger as we “feed” them! They involve the continuous desire to fulfill potentials, to “be all that you can be.” They are a matter of becoming the most complete, the fullest, “you” -- hence the term, self-actualization. Hierarchy of Needs : Hierarchy of Needs 5) Cognitive: to know, to understand, and explore; 6) Aesthetic: symmetry, order, and beauty; 7) Self-actualization: to find self-fulfillment and realize one's potential; and 8) Self-transcendence: to connect to something beyond the ego or to help others find self-fulfillment and realize their potential.