Sunday, November 1, 2009

Maslow's Hierarchy of Inborn Needs

Maslow's Hierarchy of Inborn Needs: When American psychologist Abraham Maslow first published A Theory of Human Motivation in 1943, it was truly revolutionary. Part of what made Maslow's theory so compelling was its application of a scientific rationale to basic questions of human behavior. He argued that a person's elemental needs such as food, water, and shelter must be met before that person could move up the pyramid to be concerned with other (less important) priorities. And there is certainly an intricate connection between each level of human needs. For example, belonging is a need that entails the idea of people as being inherently social creatures. Maslow's argument, at least on the surface, appears logical. But upon further investigation into the belonging level, one will find that it is, in fact, the most difficult need to secure. The mere existence of the Kierkegaardian Self, which is innately unique and individualistic, counteracts the need for large-scale societal belonging. Of course, people can self-actualize, albeit perversely, without feeling a sense of belonging to society at large. Radiohead's song "Creep" speaks almost exclusively to this kind of psychological trauma.

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