Maslow's hierarchy of needs comes from Dr. Abraham Maslow's 1943 article "A Theory of Human Motivation." In it, the psychologist set out the goals toward which humans directed their activities to reach, and the prerequisite goals for each one.
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The first needs, in the same order, which Maslow theorised that human activity strove to achieve were the physiological needs of staying alive, followed by safety from harm, acceptance into a social system, and the need for esteem. Maslow theorised the last item as esteem in the eyes of others, such as being recognised as competent in a field.
The hierarchy base specified the base components humans need to continue growing. The next need was for intellectual growth and exploration. After that, came the need for order and aesthetic beauty.
The last steps of Maslow's hierarchy were self-actualisation and self-transcendence. He considered self-actualisation the attainment of what you believed to be your full potential. After that, the activity of self-transcendence was reaching down to those still climbing the hierarchy to help them attain self-actualisation.
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