Abraham Maslow, the father of humanist psychology (psychology concerned with the whole individual), offered the paradigm called "the hierarchy of human needs," which contends that humans need to satisfy a number of needs inherent to our genetic and developmental makeup in order to grow into productive and healthy individuals.
He breaks down this hierarchy into the following:
- Physiological: Food, water, air, shelter, homeostasis
- Safety: food, home, work, security
- Love: friends, family, intimacy
- Esteem: dignity, self-respect, pride, self-love
- Self-Actualization: morality, creativity, inspiration, faith
The hierarchy of needs is also known as Maslow's self-actualization theory of human psychology.
Piaget's genetic epistemology serves as a developmental map or blueprint that assumes that humans will behave in a certain way during their growth process, provided that all the right elements are in place. Hence, you get the well-known sensory motor, preoperational, concrete operational, and formal operational epigenetic stages.
Both theories argue that humans, as a species, need a series of environmental, psychological, and societal support systems that would provide physiological and psychological support for our needs.
They also argue that the needs are real and need to be met in order for humans to develop in a healthy way, both physically and mentally.
The only contrast between the two is that Maslow is more generic in terms of stages of development, while Piaget gives more emphasis to specific periods in time and labels these stages with more ease than Maslow, who is less quantitatively inclined and more qualitative-driven.