Currently in psychology, there are many theories that aim to increase our emotional well-being as well as our own motivation to carry out our vital goals and to experience the benefits that come with our own personal development.

One of these theories is that of the human motivation of the psychologist Abraham Maslow who identified what are the main needs of human beings and classified them into categories according to a hierarchical order of importance for survival and our own capacity for motivation.

This humanistic psychologist suggests that each time that we meet our own needs, others appear along the way, which we are also going to pretend to satisfy in order to feel fuller and more fulfilled.

In this article, we will delve into Maslow's theory of human motivation. In addition, we will explain with a good summary and examples of what this theory consists of.

You may also be interested in: Maslow's Pyramid: practical examples of each level

Theory of Maslow's human motivation

For the psychologist Abraham Maslow, the needs that human beings have are driving us to have the strength of will to overcome all the difficulties that come our way every day. When we talk about motivation, we refer to that desire that drives us to want to achieve some goal and satisfy our human needs. That is why Maslow, was dedicated to investigate what are those needs that we have people and finally created a model known as the Maslow pyramid . This model consists of 5 hierarchical levels that are the following:
  • Basic or physiological needs: refers to the basic needs for the survival of the person.
  • Security: refers to the need to feel safe and protected in life.
  • Affiliation: It is the need that we people have to belong to a social group and feel accepted by him.
  • Recognition: they are all those needs for recognition and acceptance of oneself and others.
  • Self-realization: this is the highest level in the hierarchy of needs and to reach it, we need to have all other needs met as it refers to the feeling of being happy in life.

Examples of needs according to Maslow's theory of motivation

Next, we will show you each of the needs of the Maslow pyramid with their respective examples to finish understanding better what each of them refers to.

1. Basic or physiological needs

As the basic needs are those involved in our own survival, they are able to breathe, eat and drink, get dressed, have sex, etc. For example, a person who has the right clothes to cover himself from the cold in winter and can feed himself properly, can be said to have covered the basic or physiological needs that allow him to survive.

On the other hand, a person who lives on the street and goes hungry and cold, does not have the kind of necessities that we need to survive covered so he runs the risk of not being able to achieve it.

2. Security

Within this group of needs are all those that provide us with security and that make us feel protected by providing us with independence and self-sufficiency. For example, a person who has a roof to sleep on, has enough health to work and be able to pay the rent of a flat and be interdependent, is considered a person who has this type of need covered.

On the contrary, a person who does not have well satisfied this type of need may not have a job , do not have good health and neither have a roof to sleep that provides security and comfort, among other things that make the person not have your own independence.

3. Affiliation

A person who has this type of need covered, feels part of a social group and therefore feels appreciated and valued by the members of that group. For example, a person who has a family that they know they can count on, a group of friends to turn to when they need company and some advice, may have a partner they can trust and a sexual intimacy.

On the contrary, a person who has not satisfied that need, feels alone and isolated from society since he does not belong to any social group nor does he have a family that supports him.

4. Recognition

When a person has more or less satisfied all the needs described above, this is the next need you will want to satisfy. A person who has satisfied this need feels confident and knows how to recognize his personal worth. A clear example would be a person who performs effectively in his work, likes what he does and other people recognize him for his work.

On the contrary, a person who does not have this need covered, has low self-esteem, is not considered fit for what he does, does not feel comfortable in his work and nobody recognizes his work.

5. Self-realization

A person who is at this level is because he has the other needs met in full. An example of a person who is at this level is independent, has confidence in herself , considers herself a successful person and feels that she has everything she needs to be happy. He likes to help others and has an open mind, respects the ideas and opinions of others as well as his own, likes to be constantly learning new things and cares a lot about his personal development.

The opposite of this person would be the one who despite having success and who likes what he does, does not feel completely satisfied and has the permanent feeling that something is missing to achieve happiness.


Maslow's pyramid in the economy

One of the most recent and curious applications of the theory of human motivation is the Maslow pyramid in economics. Nowadays, human impulses are studied in buying and consuming products according to their needs.

In marketing, motivation is applied to sales campaigns for products and services. In this way, companies modify the advertising message of what they want to sell in relation to the need they believe they can satisfy.