“Maslow’s Pyramid” is based on an elitist misreading of the psychologist’s work

By Lila MacLellan
April 10, 2019

 

Depending on your life experiences, you may think one of two ways about Maslow’s pyramid of needs.

You might believe what I did before reporting this story: That the rainbow-colored pyramid, perhaps first seared  into memory in grade school, organizes truths about what motivates people. First, we satisfy our “lower level” needs, like basic nourishment and safety, the base layers of the pyramid. Only then can we be concerned with “higher level” needs, like love and belonging, and esteem, the stepping stones to self-actualization, the reaching of one’s full potential and the pinnacle of the pyramid.

 

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