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  1. #1

    Default Maslow Hierarchy of needs

    Maslow's hierarchy of needs - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



    How strong is the hierarchy part?

    In particular, it is claimed:
    Quote Originally Posted by Wikipedia
    The higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus once all the lower needs in the pyramid are satisfied.
    So, for instance, does that mean my sense of belonging needs have to be taken care of before my esteem needs and others?
    Last edited by ygolo; 09-30-2007 at 04:35 AM. Reason: My question seemed incoherent, even to me, so I re phrased

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    I suppose it depends on how much merit you think Maslow's hierarchy has. I think it definitely gives a person good food for thought, but I don't necessarily agree with his conclusions.
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    On a mission Usehername's Avatar
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    I think that's based off HIS needs. Sure, all of those things are great, but as an INTJ, the order is a little skewed for me.
    *You don't have a soul. You are a Soul. You have a body.
    *Faith is the art of holding on to things your reason once accepted, despite your changing moods.
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    It's only a theory.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    For me, I'd say the bottom two, Safety and Physiological need, would be accurate. But here's the order that seems right to me, the bottom being most important, and the top being least.

    Transcendence
    Self-actualization
    Esteem Needs
    Need to Know and Understand
    Belongingless and love
    Aesthetic Needs
    Safety
    Physiological Needs


    However, I should note that you quoted Wikipedia, which isn't an authoritative source. A person who wasn't well-versed the theory might have written it, and not explained it well. Personally, I believe people may tend to focus more on the lower levels (especially the first two) until they are filled, but that it isn't as monolithic and inflexible as you would think from reading it.

    Although Maslow's claim was that people wouldn't focus on the higher needs in the hierarchy until the lower ones were filled, I don't think this proved entirely accurate. I heard of some research on the topic that's claimed the model only proved accurate for the lower level needs, but broke down at the higher levels, which is basically what I would have guessed.

    Also, if this model is accurate, how do you explain martyrs, scientists who have no families and few friends, and people who seem content living in abject poverty who won't try to better themselves, seeing it as a way of "rebelling"? There are too many examples of people who don't fit into this hierarchy correctly even at the lower levels, so all it can measure, in my opinion, is tendencies.

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    @.~*virinaĉo*~.@ Totenkindly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    However, I should note that you quoted Wikipedia, which isn't an authoritative source. A person who wasn't well-versed the theory might have written it, and not explained it well. Personally, I believe people may tend to focus more on the lower levels (especially the first two) until they are filled, but that it isn't as monolithic and inflexible as you would think from reading it.
    I agree with the caveat; but Wiki's strength is that it's open to everyone, so any very "wrong" ideas of the pyramid will be immediately shot down by the rest of the group due to lack of credibility. (This Wiki tends to at least describe very well the general consensus on what something is.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maverick View Post
    It's only a theory.
    Agreed. I see some general value in it, but I don't think it is necessarily definitive.

    One point of agreement: What I see in general is that it is definitely difficult for people to focus on more abstract and self-growth-oriented enterprise when all of their concentration and energy necessarily has to go towards survival. We see this again and again: People in survival situations tend to drop all of the speculations and abstractions and only have the resources to focus on what they need to live.

    Just as one interesting example, here is a quote from John Krakauer's book about Chris McCandless (most likely an INTJ, as best as I can tell from the text), the young adult who wandered the US to find himself and eventually ended up dying in the Alaskan wilderness:

    Quote Originally Posted by Into the Wild, by John Krakauer, p183
    Unlike Muir and Thoreau, McCandless went into the wilderness not primarily to ponder nature or the world at large, but rather; to explore the inner country of his own soul. He soon discovered, however, what Muir and Thoeau already knew: An extended stay in the wilderness inevitably directs one's attention outwards as much as inward, and it is impossible to live off the land without developing both a subtle understanding of, and a strong emotional bond with, that land and all it holds.

    The entires in McCandless's journal contain few abstractions about wilderness or, for that matter, few ruminations of any kind. There is scant mention of the surrounding scenery. Indeed, as Roman's friend Andrew Liske points out upon reading a photocopy of the journal, "These entires are almost entirely about what he ate. He wrote about hardly anything except food."
    So the pyramid is based on physiological and security needs, then the needs to satisfy curiosity (which is basically partially an internalized desire still coupled firmly to the outside world), and finally the completely internalized need for self-actualization, where the demands of the outside world are unconnected to one's internal need to behave a certain way and/or become a certain person.

    IOW, self-survival becomes less important than actualization.
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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer View Post
    One point of agreement: What I see in general is that it is definitely difficult for people to focus on more abstract and self-growth-oriented enterprise when all of their concentration and energy necessarily has to go towards survival. We see this again and again: People in survival situations tend to drop all of the speculations and abstractions and only have the resources to focus on what they need to live.
    I do not agree. I think this is what you find when a modern Westerner gets thrown into a survival situation, but it is not true when you consider the normal mode of life of people in less technologically advanced societies where survival is naturally more difficult. What you find is that even when their safety and survival needs are taxed, they still have their love and esteem needs met.

    A good example of this is the movie "God Grew Tired of Us" which is about refugees from Sudan. They struggled to stay alive for much of the beginning of the movie, but stayed close to each other throughout their struggles. When they came to the U.S. they found life much harder in ways than in Sudan. They could easily get food and shelter compared to being in Sudan, but their work situations kept them apart and they were not accepted by society as a whole and they described living in America as very hard (and remember this is coming from people who nearly starved to death).
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    Quote Originally Posted by The_Liquid_Laser View Post
    I do not agree. I think this is what you find when a modern Westerner gets thrown into a survival situation, but it is not true when you consider the normal mode of life of people in less technologically advanced societies where survival is naturally more difficult. What you find is that even when their safety and survival needs are taxed, they still have their love and esteem needs met.

    A good example of this is the movie "God Grew Tired of Us" which is about refugees from Sudan. They struggled to stay alive for much of the beginning of the movie, but stayed close to each other throughout their struggles. When they came to the U.S. they found life much harder in ways than in Sudan. They could easily get food and shelter compared to being in Sudan, but their work situations kept them apart and they were not accepted by society as a whole and they described living in America as very hard (and remember this is coming from people who nearly starved to death).
    Could you talk more about this, or provide some more examples (references to books / web articles etc.) if you have any at hand?

    It is definitely possible I am seeing this through a western mindset and did not even realize it... go ahead, expand my mind.
    "Hey Capa -- We're only stardust." ~ "Sunshine"

    “Pleasure to me is wonder—the unexplored, the unexpected, the thing that is hidden and the changeless thing that lurks behind superficial mutability. To trace the remote in the immediate; the eternal in the ephemeral; the past in the present; the infinite in the finite; these are to me the springs of delight and beauty.” ~ H.P. Lovecraft

  9. #9
    darkened dreams labyrinthine's Avatar
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    The needs can be minimally met before moving to the next level. Poor starving artists are a case in point.
    Step into my metaphysical room of mirrors.
    Fear of reality creates myopic morality
    So I guess it means there is trouble until the robins come
    (from Blue Velvet)

  10. #10
    Mamma said knock you out Mempy's Avatar
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    What you find is that even when their safety and survival needs are taxed, they still have their love and esteem needs met.

    A good example of this is the movie "God Grew Tired of Us" which is about refugees from Sudan. They struggled to stay alive for much of the beginning of the movie, but stayed close to each other throughout their struggles.
    Banding together in groups is another way humans survive. Pain and suffering bring people together, as well as shared needs. Ten people building a hut and looking for food and water is more efficient than one person doing all the work by himself. So perhaps people come together for survival needs, but end up getting their love and social needs met too.

    I do agree that very basic needs probably need to be met before anyone can devote much time to star-gazing. I'm not surprised that the studies Athenian mentioned support these trends. And like she said, they're just trends.

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