Maslow revisited

2010/11/04 at 11:36 1 kommentar

Maslow’s pyramid of motives is a famous model for explaining human behaviour. Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs, with those at the bottom taking precedence over those higher up. Hunger is our first priority, followed by safety, affection and finaly self-realisation. This well known model has now received a much needed overhaul, based on modern integration of ideas from neuroscience, developmental biology, and evolutionary psychology.

A team of psychologists led by Douglas Kenrick, an ASU professor of psychology and lead author of the paper, “Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations.”, have updated this cornerstone of modern psychology.

Douglas Kenrick writes that modern science suggests that Maslow had a few things wrong. One of his mistakes was to ignore our needs of reproduction while in fact reproduction is often a primary motive behind most things that we do. Our “higher creative needs” are not completely personal strivings, unconnected from other people, and totally divorced from biological needs. They are usualy linked to gaining status and acquiring mates. Another important ommission are parental motivations that were completely missing from Maslows hierarchy.

The new pyramid of motives have overlapping goals which is a more accurate description of our behaviour. One motive doesn´t really completely replace another more base motive. We can experience many needs at the same time.

You can read the full article here.


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1 kommentar

  • 1. Philippe Ingels  |  2010/11/13 kl. 9:20

    I think the problem with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs lies in the hierarchy model

    The problem is that needs don’t fit a fixed hierarchy. Any one of those needs can, depending on the person and circumstances, position itself at the top of the pile even though there are others still largely unsatisfied. Needs are relative to the individual attitude (way of thinking, feeling and behaving) in relation to current circumstances. Each person will therefore have a different hierarchy and this hierarchy will adjust itself as conditions change. The model of a fix hierarchy should therefore be replaced with a individualised, dynamic hierarchy.

    Philippe Ingels, author of Get Me Adjusted. (

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