A Theory of Human Motivation There are five basic hierarchical needs that each person must satisfy in order to achieve self-fulfillment. These needs begin with physiological, which includes the automatic drive to fulfill one’s basic nourishment from food, water and air, as well as the choices in the selection of these needs. If these basic physiological needs are not met, all other needs will be ignored until these are satisfied. Second is the person’s need for safety, which yields to short term and immediate dangers before considering other long term concerns to maintain safety in the future.
The motivation to fulfill these needs include relieving physical discomforts such as pain or temperature extremes, avoiding hazardous risks that could potentially cause harm to one’s self, and also seeking surroundings that are familiar. Once the first two needs have been met, a person will focus on finding acceptance with others, not only with sex, but as a sense of belongingness with a person or groups that has a mutual concern for one another.
Failure to satisfy the need for love often results in psychological maladjustments and disconnection in the future. The next is the esteem needs, which is the desire for respect from one’s self as well as respect from others. The next need for self-actualization refers to a person’s desire to become whatever they imagine themselves capable of. If all other needs are satisfied then that person will then seek to improve one’s own self in a way that they feel themselves capable of, and that varies from person to person.
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While further needs are seldom pursued, the final need is the desire to know and to understand that which has been previously unanswered. This is a need to satisfy one’s greatest curiosities in the final stage of self-fulfillment. Once a need is fulfilled and higher needs become satisfied, a person may shift their attention back to more basic needs that have since been depleted or lost. These needs are only applicable in humans and the study of these needs on animals does not suggest anything about the higher needs of human motivation.
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