Needs and Goal Setting According to Albert Maslow

Albert Maslow always wondered what motivated people, he wanted to how or what motivated a person. He believe people were not just motivated by reward, but believed it was a motivation system. Maslow has mentioned that people were motivated to reach a need, when they reached that need they would start on reaching the next and then the next. Albert Maslow was a humanistic psychologist in 1943 wrote his paper titled “A THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION” (Maslow A. H., 2010). His theory of human behavior is a hierarchy of needs.

Maslow theory of people motivation, he believed there were five stages of motivational needs and each needed to be completed to get to the next stage of need. The pyramid was not originally used by Maslow to describe his theory of the five stages, but they are used in text books to give a visual description of the levels the hierarchy of needs.

Maslow challenged our basic physiological needs to survive is water, food, sleep and air this is what he believed were the most important in his five stages hierarchy of needs and the other stages would fail and not proceed without the basic needs of water, food, sleep and air.

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Physiological stage would be at the bottom of his theory the bottom of the pyramid. Once Maslow physiological needs were satisfied, you can proceed to the next stage of need. Maslow believed security, financial, shelter, and your well-being were necessary to proceed to the next stage. Safety is the next stage in Maslow hierarchy on the pyramid above physiological need.

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Safety needs are physical safety after a natural disaster, child abuse. Even experience people may have like a stress disorder. Financial crisis due to lack of work or job security. Maslow believed this was a level more for children as they need the greater need of feeling safe. The next stage is social, this stage is belonging and being loved.

Maslow believes this need is less basic then he stated for physiological. Social need of feeling love is related to relationship could be a romantic with a partner, a friendship, and most of all families love. Also involves religious and community group, social need is above safety on the pyramid. Esteem is the fourth stage of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, you can reach this stage once the first stages have been satisfied. Maslow believed people want to be recognize and feel needed. Self-Esteem reflects achievement, confidence and accomplished. Esteem is the fourth stage above social on the pyramid. We have reached the fifth stage of the hierarchy of needs, the top of the pyramid is self-actualization. Maslow considered the first four staged the deficiency needs, because are from deprivation. The fifth stage was consider by Maslow as the being needs. He describes it as being motivated and the need of growing as a person. Maslow believed that once a person achieved the previous four stages of hierarchy needs, that people had strong motivations to accomplish personal growth.

He also believed once a person achieved self-actualization they has less concerns of others opinions. Maslow’s theory did make sense to me, but there was no real research performed to support this theory. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs was found to be true by researchers at the University of Illinois. The researchers conduct a study in 2011. They discover that it was true with the basic need people were happy. They also concluded that people felt positive about their lives with just the basic of food, water, money and shelter were not met. After these findings and other studies that have been conducted, Maslow’s theory was except in the world of psychology. Maslow’s theory related to motivation, people always have needs and wants.

When people need this makes a great motivator. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs that I find the most challenging would be safety and security. In today’s time people have issue finding the safety and security to satisfy the needs. Even though people may have difficulties with safety and securities they are still motivated for self-actualization. At once other (and “higher”) needs emerge and these, rather than physiological hungers, dominate the organism. And when these in turn are satisfied, again new (and still “higher”) needs emerge and so on. This is what we mean by saying that the basic human needs are organized into a hierarchy of relative prepotency. (Maslow A. H., 2010 p375)


  1. Maslow, A. H. (2010, December 23). A Theory of Human Motivation – Abraham H Maslow – Psychological Review Vol 50 No 4July 1943.pdf. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from Google Docs:
  2. Maslow, A. H. (2010, December 23). A Theory of Human Motivation – Abraham H Maslow – Psychological Review Vol 50 No 4 July 1943.pdf. Retrieved June 8, 2014, from

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Needs and Goal Setting According to Albert Maslow. (2016, Apr 03). Retrieved from

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