Human decision-making and motivation are complex psychological processes that happen for many reasons and sometimes even the person making the decision doesn’t understand why they are doing so. However, in 1943 an American psychologist, Abraham Maslow published a chart of human needs by which he linked these two with five types of needs.
What are these needs?
According to Abraham Maslow, our decisions are based on what level of these five needs we are on. Also, it should be noted that Maslow stated that a person only steps onto the next need level only when their prior tier needs are fulfilled.
- Physiological needs: These are the basic needs of a human being in order to exist, meaning air, food, water, and shelter.
- Safety needs: These relate to a sense of security and safety in terms of personal safety, job security, and property.
- Love and Belonging needs: Here a person seeks, friendship and relationship.
- Esteem needs: Being valued by others and self-confidence are the two main components of this need.
- Self-Actualization: One’s desire to reach their true and full potential and be content with life.
As we can see all of these needs are completely different from one another and in a sense are an escalation process. Now let’s look at some examples of these needs.
Real-life examples of Maslow’s needs
1. Elections: This mostly occurs in third-world countries where a huge amount of people are still struggling with physiological needs and politicians try to leverage votes by promising special prices on food and housing for the minority. People under the poverty line, don’t even care what the next politician does as long as they are provided with food and shelter.
2. Product marketing: A huge amount of food companies focuses and markets for a segment of the population who are guaranteed to go for their product. As lowered price food items like cooking oil and salt are a sell no matter what, companies know this well and act accordingly.
3. Insurance: Whether it be health insurance or car insurance, it sells just because of our need to feel safe. There’s rarely anyone at this point who doesn’t have an insurance policy.
4. Armed forces: The military is one of the prime examples when it comes to safety needs. They are deployed on the lines for our physical safety.
5. Social clubs: Social clubs as the name suggests are made for people to socialize. We have all heard the term that human is a social animal, it does, however, stand true, and our desire to connect and make friends has created social clubs and alike communities.
6. Tour packages: Travel companies offer special services such as honeymoon packages for new couples. Because tour agents understand quite nicely that a person’s love and belonging needs are a great way to earn good money.
7. Awards: Interestingly awards or their equivalents have been around throughout centuries, why? Because it feeds people’s esteem and makes them feel valued and accomplished.
8. Luxury products: Opulence is one of the easiest ways when it comes to distinguishing a person’s status. That’s the reason why people buy these products to feel valued and accomplished. Also to show their hierarchy in society.
9. Artists: Once all four needs are met, an individual aims for a higher purpose. It could be painting, songs, or anything creative as it is seen as one of the aspects that enhances a person’s life significantly and one learns about themselves.
10. Social workers: These people understand that it is the basic right of each and every individual that their physiological needs are met. That’s why they either work by themselves or with NGOs to help the needy with noble causes like providing free education, food, and building shelter which helps them have a better understanding of life and themselves.
As we can see by these examples, our lifestyles drastically change once our needs change. We can also see that different tiers of needs have people living such different lives that it can seem they are generations apart from each other.