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Human life has several factors that are necessary for a person to survive. But, except only survival, there are other things that happen to an individual as they grow and develop. Abraham Maslow has made a hierarchy of needs, which illustrates how a person goes through stages of self-development, from things that are needed, to things that are wanted, which are equally as important for a quality life. The end goal of all people is to reach a psychological development and understanding of the self. These are thought to be the most spiritual and moral needs of an individual (Brown, 2007).
Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explicitly explains why people are motivated to do certain things. It went as far, as to create strict needs that people are driven by in a lifetime. It states that people are genetically predisposed to act in a specific and concrete way that is centered on satisfying physiological and psychological needs (Maslow, 2013). External factors or the surrounding environment and the internal needs and wants or personality of a person set out criteria that guide how a person behaves and what goals they strive towards. At the bottom of the pyramid-shaped diagram are the basic needs. These are the primary attributes that are needed for survival, like food, shelter, and water.
These are characterized as physiological requirements of all people, independent of their age, race, or life goals. The hierarchy gradually flows into moral needs, such as belonging to relationships, search for love, and self-actualization (Hockenbury & Hockenbury, 2014). It has been proven that everyone, especially children, needs to feel wanted and loved, in order for them to grow up confident and healthy individuals, which is why the psychological needs are so important. It is understandable that physical survival is vital to a person in the continuation of life but on the other side of the spectrum is the psychological need and wants of any person. From these needs stems a great part of moral motives (Maslow, 2013).
It is undeniable that people are psychological beings and everything that happens in a person’s lifetime, gets recorded in genes and gets passed down through generations in a form of genetic code known as DNA. The hierarchy makes a lot of sense because it explains why people do certain things. People must have a form of understanding of themselves and respect that allows them to feel confident in everything they do. This motivates their goals, allowing taking on new tasks and risks. The deepest psychological needs which lead to self-actualization are the hardest to accomplish, as the person must spend a lot of years searching inside their moral principles and needs.
If someone is not sure of their strengths, they will not be able to pursue their goals and dreams, being satisfied with the minimum that they have (Goble, 2004). As it is considered to be a higher functioning of the mind, which involves feelings and thoughts, people often, get confused and search meets a dead end. It might seem difficult to get to know another person, but the search for the truth in their own personality could even more difficult. For example, a person will start to work on the strength of their character; get to know the self, and what specifically motivates a person to do one thing or the other. Even though a person could survive without self-actualization and moral development, life without these things would be dull, pointless, and inefficient (O’Neil, 2012).
The moral self is a reflection of the individuality, a soul, so existence without getting to know this side would lack any progress in comprehension and realization of the surrounding and internal environment.
Brown, L. (2007). Psychology of Motivation. New York: Nova Publishers.
Goble, F. (2004). The Third Force: The Psychology of Abraham Maslow. Chapel Hill: Maurice Bassett.
Hockenbury D. & Hockenbury S. (2014). Discovering psychology (6th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers.
Maslow, A. (2013). Maslow’s Motivation Theory and its Application to Education. Web.
O’Neil, H. (2012). Motivation: Theory and Research. Hillsdale: Routledge.