By in Random

Plurality in Maslow’s Hierarchy

Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs is a pyramid which defines five levels of human needs.

As per the theory of this hierarchy, a person passes from the base of the pyramid to the top.

The five levels in the pyramid are (starting from the bottom to the top: Needs (food, shelter, clothing); Comforts (better quality and more of everything), Luxuries, Setting Trends and finally Self Actualization.

The theory states that you pass from one level to another. However, I have been observing myself and the people I know placing everyone in the context of Maslow's theory and have come to the conclusion that a person can exist in multiple levels at the same time with regard to different things in their lives.

What do you think?

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


MegL wrote on June 25, 2015, 6:20 AM

I think what it means is that you cannot pass up a level until you have satisfied the needs in the lower level. The needs at the lowest level are our basic air, water, food etc. We cannot move onto the next level of comforts until we have satisfied our basic needs. But once we have satisfied our basic needs, we still need those every day. Even in a country with plentiful food and water, we still need them every day. How many times do you hear someone say "don't talk to me til I have had my coffee!"? That's probably a luxury but they won't get into the self actualisation bit, til they have had their coffee! So, yes, people exist in multiple levels all the time. I would love to spend all day self actualising but that doesn't get the dinner made or the beds made or the laundry done!

paigea wrote on June 25, 2015, 12:01 PM

I agree, we exist in more than one level at once. But once we feel secure that we can provide food and water and shelter for ourselves it requires a less planning. It still might require considerable effort. - I have a busy day tomorrow earning my grocery money. It takes time and effort but I can also think of bigger things as I go about my day.

cmoneyspinner wrote on June 25, 2015, 12:49 PM

I disagree. Have always disagreed. The first level is “needs” (physiological). Those other levels are not. Suppose you never get comfort (safety), luxuries (social), trends (esteem), etc. Does that mean you'll never know who you really are (self-actualization)? I know he's a recognized and respected psychologist. But that's dumb!! Yeah. I dare to disagree. He ain't my daddy! emoticon :smile: -

MelissaE wrote on June 25, 2015, 10:16 PM

I would think that self actualization would not be dependent on the two levels below it. I am thinking of monks who eschew luxuries but have mastered self actualization.

iwrite28 wrote on June 26, 2015, 8:03 AM

Each comment adds to the interpretation of this theory. Thank you all for your inputs on this.

scheng1 wrote on June 27, 2015, 8:37 AM

Some people do not move up at all. Many millionaires are still at the lower level. They do not have self-actualization needs.