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Maslow theory of Motivation b.ed notes | Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Learning and Teaching b.ed notes in English

Maslow’s theory of Motivation/ Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs/ Theory of Needs 

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology presented by Abraham Maslow in 1943.

This theory is frequently represented in the shape of a pyramid with the largest, most fundamental needs at the bottom and the need for self actualization at the top.

From the bottom, the first four levels of the pyramid carries “deficiency needs” such as physiological, safety, love/belonging and esteem needs.

The basic needs must be met or reached before the individual will strongly desire for the next level needs.

For example, an individual will not expect safety needs until unless his physiological needs are fulfilled. He will not desire for love and belonging before the safety needs are fulfilled.


Maslow also produce the term ‘meta motivation’ to explain the motivation of people who go beyond the reach of the basic needs and aim for constant betterment. If these “deficiency needs” are not fulfilled, the individual will feel anxious and tense.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

Maslow has placed physiological and physiological motivation, the need for security and connection, the need for affection in the lower level and the need for esteem and the need for self-actualization in the higher level. Maslow said that as long as a human being has a When a level need is not satisfied it does not move to another need or level it moves all sequentially or hierarchically.

Maslow considered his theory of self-actualization within a hierarchy of Needs. The hierarchy constitutes five needs arranged from lowest to highest, as follows:

Physiological needs: 

These constitute needs that keep us alive, such as food, water, shelter, warmth, and sleep.

Safety needs: 

The need or necessity to feel secure, stable, and unafraid.

Love and belongingness needs:

The need or necessity to belong socially by developing relationships with friends and family.

Esteem needs: 

The need to feel both 

(a) self-esteem based on one’s achievements and abilities Or potential and 

(b) recognition and respect from others.

Self-actualization needs:

The need to follow and fulfill one’s unique potentials.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Physiological needs

  • Physiological needs are the physical requirements or conditions for human survival.

  • If these requirements or demands are not fulfilled, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail. 

  • Physiological needs are the first and basic need in the hierarchy table. Without physiological need, the other needs cannot follow up. 

  • Physiological needs constitute breathing, water, food, sleep, clothing, shelter and sex.

Safety needs

Once a individual’s physiological needs are relatively satisfied, their safety needs take precedence and dominate behavior.

For example in the absence of physical safety – due to war, natural disaster etc. – people may suffer stress and tension. 

Safety and Security needs include personal security, emotional security, financial security, health and well being and safety needs against accidents/illness and their unfavorable impacts.


  • The third level of human needs is interpersonal or relationship building and involves feelings of belongingness.

  • Social Belonging needs constitute friendships, family and intimacy.

  • Human beings need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among social groups, whatever whether these groups are large or small.

  • The example for large social groups may comprise clubs, religious groups, sports teams, gangs, etc and some small social connections comprise family members, intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, etc.

  • Human beings require to love and be loved – both sexually and non-sexually – by others.

Self esteem

  • Self Esteem is a trust about one’s own worth based on an overall self evaluation.

  • Esteem needs are ego needs or status needs which are associated to getting recognition, status, importance, and respect from others in the society.

  • All humans have a need to feel respected; this constitutes the need to have self esteem and self-respect.

  • These activities provide the person a sense of contribution or value. Deficiency in this level heads to low self esteem.


Self actualization mentions to an individual’s need to develop his or her potentialities or abilities; in other words, to do what he or she is capable of doing. It means a person’s motivation to reach his or her full potential or ability. 

Abraham Maslow states, "What a man can be, he must be". 

Maslow's quote refers to self-actualization, which is the highest level or stage in his model of human motivation: the 'Hierarchy of Needs'.

According to the hierarchy of needs, self-actualization constitutes the highest-order motivations, which drive us to realize our true potential and achieve our 'ideal self'. 

Self-actualization needs are also mentioned to as our 'being' needs; these include personal and creative self-growth, which are achieved through the fulfilment of our full potential.

Educational Implications of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs

  • Teach people to be genuine or original. 

  • Teach people to become world citizens

  • Help people to discover their purpose and function in life.

  • Teach people that life is precious, there is also joy in life.

  • We must accept the person and help them find their inner self.

  • We must see that basic needs are fulfilled.

  • We should refresh awareness. 

  • Teach people that controls are good, complete abandon or vacate is bad. 

  • Teach people to transcend the insignificant problems and tackle the serious problems of life

  • Teach people to make good choices