Human Needs

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Abraham Maslow introduced his theory of motivation in 1943, and, to this day, it serves as a seminal work and a cornerstone for many current theories of motivation. In this work, Maslow applied his hierarchy of needs and explained individual motivation in terms of five levels of needs, or motivators. These include basic physiological needs, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization. Most of us can identify with his hierarchy and the motivating forces in each stage. There are limitations to Maslow’s theory, however, and you are asked to critique this theory through the lens of personal experience using empirically-supported literature to support your argument.

To prepare for this Discussion, think of examples from your own life that illustrate different levels of Maslow’s hierarchy. Then, consider whether there are other motivational factors involved in these scenarios that, perhaps, are not captured by Maslow’s theory.

Post by Day 4 a description of a scenario from your life that illustrates two levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs and explain how it does so. Then, explain how Maslow’s theory may not capture all of the motivational factors involved in your behavior. Be specific and provide examples.

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources.


  • Book Excerpt: Apter, M. J. (2001). An introduction to reversal theory. In M. J. Apter (Ed.) , Motivational styles in everyday life: A guide to reversal theory (pp. 3–35). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycBOOKS database.
  • Article: Capa, R. L., Audiffren, M., & Ragot, S. (2008). The effects of achievement motivation, task difficulty, and goal difficulty on physiological, behavioral, and subjective effort. Psychophysiology, 45(5) 859–868.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the Academic Search Complete database.
  • Article: Koltko-Rivera, M. E. (2006). Rediscovering the later version of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs: Self-transcendence and opportunities for theory, research, and unification. Review of General Psychology, 10(4), 302–317.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.
  • Article: Maslow, A. H. (1943). A theory of human motivation. Psychological Review, 50(4), 370–396.
    Retrieved from the Walden Library using the PsycARTICLES database.

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