Explain the five needs in Maslow’s hierarchy.

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Beginning at the base of Maslow's pyramid, the first type of need is physiological needs.  These are the obvious things, like food, water, and sleep that we need in order to survive.

After we have our physiological needs taken care of, we can move on to the next level, which is our safety needs.  The world we live in makes us insecure and uncertain.  We need to feel that we know what will happen to us.  We need to not have to worry about losing our job, being attacked, or generally being out of control.

The next level is our love and belonging needs.  These are also called social needs.  At this level, we are looking to be accepted and cared for.  We need to know that people like us and even love us.  We need to be able to be accepted as part of a group or groups.

The fourth level is our esteem needs.  Here, we want people to think that we are important and worthwhile.  We want them to respect us.  This often takes the form of needing other people to think that we are good at our work and that our work is important.

Finally, we have self-actualization needs.  These encompass our need to fully develop ourselves.  At this level, we are trying to live up to what we see as our potential.

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