Maslow or how to understand the motivations of someone

The old pyramid of Maslow to forget
The old pyramid of Maslow to forget

Maslow on the assumption that the needs of the human being are distributed in 5 floors. To proceed to the upper floor, the previous level needs have been satisfied.

It was in 1970, in the second edition of his book Motivation and Personality, that appears the most comprehensive presentation of his theory of motivation: the hierarchy of needs. Looking for what is hidden behind these motivations, it updates five groups of basic needs: physiological needs, the needs of security, of belonging and love needs, the esteem needs and the need for self-fulfillment. This taxonomy of needs is, according to Maslow, universal. Indeed, the particular character of a motivation has caused many determinism such as culture, social background or education. Thus a person may meet his esteem in being recognized as a good Hunter by his peers and another with power. In conclusion, each motivation or every object of desire behind is a basic need


The pyramid, the classic representation of the motivations

On this pyramid 5 categories of needs:

  • physiological needs: need essential to life, breathe, drink, sleep, eat
  • security needs: health (slavery), employment (which guaranteed to eat), some shelter (home)
  • of belonging and love needs: belong to a group (family, work, friends), have intimate relationships
  • esteem needs: esteem from others (sports, intellectual performance, recognition of the head)
  • need minor: a need to make a masterpiece, search etc


  • In the hierarchy of needs, physiological needs have priority. Generally, a person seeks to satisfy its physiological needs above all others (Maslow, 1970).
    • For example, a person who lacks food, safety and love usually seeks to satisfy his need for food before you satisfy her need for love.
  • Physiological needs are needs whose satisfaction is important or necessary for survival. Human beings humans have eight basic physiological needs: the needs of liquid oxygen, food, maintaining body temperature, elimination, accommodation, rest and intercourse.
    • An infant must have help to meet their needs of food, housing, liquids, keeping the body temperature and disposal.
  • As a person grows and develops, it is more able to meet their physiological needs.
    • A child of two years who wants water usually knows where the water is and how have. Although its efforts may be misdirected, if he is highly motivated and has no one to help him, he will manage to obtain his glass of water. Usually a healthy adult is able to meet its physiological needs without assistance.
  • Very young children, the elderly, the poor, the sick and disabled people often rely on others to meet their basic physiological needs. The nurse is often to help the customer to meet their physiological needs.


The needs of protection and physical and psychological security immediately come after physiological needs in order of priority of the needs.
  • Physical security
    • When a baby comes into the world, his physical safety depends entirely on the people who surround him. Then, as he grows and develops, it gradually manages to greater autonomy for the satisfaction of his needs. Usually an adult can fill itself in its physical security needs. However, an elderly, sick or disabled person may not be able to satisfy its physical security needs without assistance.
  • Maintaining physical security involves the reduction or the elimination of the dangers threatening the body or the life of the person. The danger may be an illness, an accident risk or exposure to a hazardous environment.
    • A sick client may not be able to protect themselves from danger as the infection. Its protection in the face of such danger depends on the health professionals.
  • Sometimes, the satisfaction of the needs of physical security is more important than the satisfaction of physiological needs.
    • For example, a nurse who cares for a confused customer may have to ensure to protect it so that it falls out of bed before providing care to meet its nutritional needs.
  • Psychological safety
  • To feel psychologically safe a person must know what it can expect from others, including his family members and professionals of health, as well as interventions, new experiences and the conditions of its environment
  • Any person feels his psychological security is threatened when she faced new and unfamiliar experiences. Generally, these people do not openly say they feel their psychological security threatened, but their conversation may indirectly reveal their feelings.
    • A student entering college may feel some insecurity if he doesn't know what to expect; a person who starts a new job can feel intimidated at the thought of having to get in touch with strangers; a customer who has to undergo a diagnostic test may be frightened by the techniques used.


After physiological and safety needs are of love and belonging needs.
  • Generally, a person feels the need to be loved by his family and be accepted by his peers and members of his community. Usually, the desire to fill these needs arises when physiological and safety needs are met, as is when a person feels she has the time and the strength to search for love and belonging safe and share this love with others (Rogers, 1961).
  • A person who is generally able to meet its needs for love and belonging is often unable to do when a disease or trauma interrupt its activities.
    • In addition, when a client is hospitalized, it is still more difficult to satisfy these needs. The customer is obliged to adapt to certain aspects of the health system, such as the Organization, schedules, the environmental constraints, visiting hours. He has so little time or energy to satisfy his need for love and belonging with his family or key people in his life


  • Everyone must experience the esteem for herself and feel that others respect it.
  • The need for self-esteem is attached to the desire of strength, success, merit, mastery and skill of self-confidence in front of others, independence and freedom. A person also needs to be recognized and appreciated from others.
  • When these two needs are satisfied, the person has confidence in it and feel useful; If they are not satisfied, the person may feel weak and inferior (Maslow, 1970).


The needs of self-identity are at the top of the hierarchy of human needs.
  • When a person has satisfied all the needs of the previous levels, it is in self-identity as she manages to achieve its full potential (Maslow, 1970).
  • The person who is is updated mature mind and personality is multidimensional; She is often able to assume and to lead to end of multi-tasking and she draws satisfaction from a job well done.
    • She can judge his appearance, the quality of his work and how it solves problems without entirely submitting to the opinions of others.
    • Although failures and doubts, she is usually facing with realism.
  • How a person manages to satisfy the need of self-identity depends on its current needs, its environment and stressors.
    • For update, the client must create a balance between their needs, stressors, and its ability to adapt to the changes and the requirements of his organization and its environment.
  • Self-identity is defined by multiple features
    -Solves its own problems.
    -Helps others solve problems.
    -Accepts the advice of others.
    -Demonstrates a great interest for labour and social issues.
    -Has good communication skills, both to listen to communicate.
    -Control your stress and helps others to control their stress.
    -Appreciate its intimacy.
    -Search for new experiences and new knowledge.
    -Provides the problems and achievements.



Too limited representation

Simply classic representation is very limited, it is quite possible to have cases or a greater need is more important than a lower need especially if a need is already partially complete.

[sociallocker id=1896]

The Maslow pyramid is one of the most studied theories of motivation, especially in management. However, the needs of hierarchical classification, which requires to satisfy a need before reaching the next is today considered valid, an individual may, depending on its nature, be more sensitive to a particular need, regardless of satisfaction or no lower needs


Dynamic needs, representation in curves:

Pyramid representation conveyed the idea that a need should be satisfied 100% before the following need emerges.

The dynamic representation of the pyramid, the curves of Maslow
The dynamic representation of the pyramid, the curves of Maslow

Maslow was later discovered that the needs were part of a hierarchy. All needs are continuously present, but some are more felt than others at any given time. For example, a person devoid of all is able to endanger his life to feed (in this case, there is physiological needs are more important than security needs). Another example: the hazing (the esteem needs do not feel before the needs of belonging are relatively satisfied). In conclusion, when a group of needs is satisfied another will gradually take place according to the following hierarchy: physiological needs > security needs > needs of belonging and love > esteem needs > need for self-fulfillment.

Note: When a previous need is more satisfied, he becomes priority.

Maslow qualify this apparent fixity in two respects.

He first noted an escalation in the passage from one level to another "as if the average citizen was 85% satisfied in physiological needs, and 70% in its security needs, to 50% in its needs of love, to 40% in his esteem, and 10% needs in its achievements needs. »

He then noticed a second wave in the appearance of the next level: "as for the emergence of a new concept need after satisfaction of a primary need, the emergence isn't a phenomenon suddenly, but rather a slow and gradual emergence from nothing."

For example, if A primary need is only 10% satisfied, B need be not visible at all. Yet, if the need is satisfied at 25%, B need can appear at 5%, if the need is satisfied to 75% need B may appear completely and so on.

Basically this means that the pyramid is not fixed, indeed, needs are growing and they are also dynamic.

And management in it?

In fact it is simply to discover what carrot advances the employee and what will move it forward. Generally the salary includes a part of things, but the needs of recognition in society not s´achetent not.


Distinction life private professional life

However, some authors have distinguished the pyramid in two slopes, one side other professional life and private life which really lets you see rate management.

Private the pyramid with the distinction of life / life professional
The pyramid with the distinction private life / career

Social styles:

Others have nuanced social styles theory on the social styles (or socio-styles) is the result of the work of Paul Watzlawick on the differences of individual behaviours in society is used as a tool to understand the behavior of its interlocutors (and incidentally his!) and reduce the sources of conflict.

Each style is attached to a basic need in particular who pushes him to act



Limiting sixth factor: time

Some authors have emphasized the time factor, indeed it may affect the pyramid because sometimes people think of their future to explain certain actions. The need for eternity, immortality or simply time, is not described by Maslow. It's a need more expressed in our society. Commercially, it translates the attraction to the products promise rejuvenation or stalling. But it is also possible that this need is a continuation of other needs such as for example win in youth to find love.

Close System:

Grid 14 needs of Virginia Henderson

According to the model of the American Virginia Henderson (1897-1996), the basic needs of human beings can be classified according to an ordered list that health professionals use in the care of a sick person or healthy. You will find yourself that the two systems are close. In fact it is a practical application not for motivation, but to determine health. These requirements define the autonomy of individuals on the physical, psychological and social plans. A person who can satisfy only needs 14 is a completely independent and healthy person.

Grid 14 needs of Virginia Henderson
Grid 14 needs of Virginia Henderson

I – Need to breathe

1 – without embarrassment

2 – Dyspnea.

3 – technical assistance (aerosol).

4 – Assisted ventilation.


I I – need to eat and drink

1 – Eat alone.

2 installation/stimulation.

3 – partial assistance and/or supervision.

4 – Need total assistance (to eat, proteic, etc).


III – Eliminate (urinate)

1 – Continence.

2 – need help (wc with help, urinal, basin).

3 – Day or night incontinence.

4 – Day and night incontinence.


Eliminate (stools)


1 – Normal transit.

2 – need help (wc with help, basin, laxative).

3 – Incontinence, diarrhea, occasional constipation.

4 – Incontinence permanently.


IV – To move and maintain good posture

1 – Moves only.

2 – Moves with help (Cannee) or with a person.

3 – Moves with the help of two people.

4 – Bed permanently, raise forbidden.


V – Sleep and rest

1 – Sleeps naturally.

2 – Sleeps with help (drug).

3 – Frequent Awakenings.

4 – Frequent insomnia.


VI – To dress and undress

1 – Dress, undress only.

2 – Needs a third Board, monitoring.

3 – Needs partial assistance of a third party.

4 – Needs a total assistance.


VII – Maintain its temperature

1 – Fits his clothes at room temperature.

2 – Request to be protected.

3 – Unable to adapt his clothes at room temperature.

4 – Keep the clothes you put on him.

VIII – Be clean, protect its seedpods

1 – Wash only.

2 – Needs to be stimulated, but washes only.

3 – Needs partial assistance (a part of the body).

4 – Needs a total help to wash.

IX – Avoid dangers

1 – lucid.

2 – confused or disoriented episodically.

3 – confused or disoriented permanently.

4 – Coma, dangerous for himself and for others.

X connect

1 – Expresses without difficulty.

2 – Expresses itself with difficulty (stuttering).

3 – A need help to express themselves (slate, interprets).

4 – Does not speak (aphasia), does not speak.

XI – Act according to their beliefs and values

1 – independent.

2 – Is discouraged, expresses his anger, his anguish.

3 – A feeling of spiritual emptiness.

4 – Request spiritual assistance.

XII – Take care to be achieved

1 – independent.

2 – Sad, anxious.

3 – Anguish, opponent, let herself go.

4 – Denial, despair.

XIII – Need of recreation, entertainment

1 – independent.

2 – Lack of interest in activities recreatves.

3 difficulty/inability to carry out recreational activities.

4 – Refuses to carry out recreational activities.

XIV – Need to learn

1 – Supports.

2 – need for stimulation.

3 – apathetic.

4 – Denial, resignation


The dynamic vision given by a recursive loop,
better reflects the reality of interdependence of the needs and aspirations.

(diagram designed with Gérard Proisy, Quadrature, training in management organization)

loop Maslow

Recursive loop: loop that can be repeated indefinitely.


«The addition of a "recursive loop", characteristic of a "tangled hierarchy", allows to show the complexity: it upset the hierarchy without to much never annihilate it.» Between regulator and regulated him, between cause and effect there is fleeting permutation of levels, swing, without the lower level takes over on a permanent basis.

The recursive loop differs from the feedback (feedback) which is a component of a program while the recursive loop is in itself its own program. On circularity, which lacks to become complex, it is precisely the hierarchical element ". BIBLIO: Orgogozo i., Sanchez H., change the change, Seuil, Paris, 1989, 217 p.

Mishara and Riedel

In Aging, PUF, Paris, 1985, 268 p.proposent the following presentation.  It located the chronological order of the stratifications.

Mishara and Riedel maslow

Rosette Poletti, Swiss nurse.

In a lecture in 1979, she said the content of the needs

Basic physiological needs: (in order of priority)

Oxygenation – Balance water and sodium – balance food – acid-base balance – waste disposal – normal Temperature – sleep – rest – Relaxation – activity – mobilization – energy – comfort – Stimulation – cleanliness – sexuality.

Security needs: (in order of priority)

Protection of the physical danger – Protection of psychological threats – pain – stability – dependence – predictability – order issue.

Property needs:

Need to control on the things, events – need to impact, power on the outside and so need important knowledge to get there.

Needs of belonging: (in order of priority)

Love and affection – acceptance – relationships and warm communications – approval from others – being with loved – ones being with mates.

Needs of esteem on the part of others: (in order of priority)

Recognition – dignity – Appreciation from others – Importance, influence – good reputation – Attention – status – possibility to dominate.

Needs of self-esteem: (in order of priority)

Feeling of being useful, valued – high evaluation of self – feel adequate, autonomous – achieve its goals – Competence and mastery – independence.

Needs to happen: (in order of priority)

Personal growth and maturation – taking awareness of its potential – increase in the acquisition of knowledge – development potential – improved values – Satisfaction regarding religious and/or philosophical – increased creativity – ability to perceive reality and to solve problems, increased – reduction of rigidity – movement toward what is new – Satisfaction always in the face of beauty – less than what is simple most of which is complex.

Books about maslow to deepen



  • Wikipedia
  • One of my former classes
  • There are others, but having not scored them…


Laisser un commentaire

Votre adresse e-mail ne sera pas publiée. Les champs obligatoires sont indiqués avec *

Veux-tu  commencer à construire ton patrimoine ?

Profites pour commencer à t'enrichir et exploites le système grâce à ce premier placement jusqu'à 10%
Je veux moi aussi gagner
* vous souscrivez à la newsletter richesse et finance et vous serez redirigé vers l'opportunité d'investissement du moment (lendix)

Recevez nos petits secrets pour devenir riche.

Profitez-en pour recevoir gratuitement par mails tout ce que vous avez besoin:
-les bons plans, les informations exclusives, les meilleurs conseils...
J'en profite