Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory was ill Thought Out

Abraham Maslow theorized that there are five levels of needs in people.  He listed them as:

Physiological Needs – Food, Shelter, and Clothing

Safety Needs – Security, Protection, and Stability

Social Needs – Love, Affection, Sense of Belongingness

Esteem Needs – Respect, Prestige, and Recognition


Self Actualization – fulfill oneself, mastery of abilities, and growth.

Maslow said the first three were lower order needs and the next two were higher order needs.

Now comes Cooper’s Hierarchy of Needs (CHoN) which states Maslow only skimmed the surface and only went half way.  CHoN says the three lower order needs of Maslow are the child needs.  The next two of Maslow’s are the Adult Needs.  Then there are five Maturity Needs.

So CHoN has the stages of:

Maslow’s Needs of:

  1. Physiological Needs;
  2. Safety Needs;
  3. Social Needs;
  4. Esteem Needs; and
  5. Self Actualization Needs

are only half the story.  Once a person reaches maturity in the sense that he or she is fully developed psychologically, the needs digress in the reverse order that Maslow presented them.  The mature needs are:

  1. Once a person has matured they become content that they have fulfilled their potential and the self actualization needs are no longer present.
  2. Then, having attained maturity and contentment, the need for respect, prestige, and recognition are no longer needed.
  3. Having all the psychological needs attained and then disbursed again, the need for social aspects of love, affection and sense of belongingness are eased out.
  4. At this point in a mature person’s life the need for security, stability and protection are irrelevant.
  5. Finally, at the end of life, the need for food, shelter and clothing are not present anymore.

CHoN also states that not everyone reaches the adult or mature stages as they are all dependent upon the mental development of each person.  There will always be people who no matter what stage in life they are that are either stuck in the child stage or adult stage of CHoN.

Many of us are taught that Maslow’s theory looks like a pyramid.  CHoN’s looks more like an hour glass with Maslow’s pyramid and another inverted on top of it.


About The Rural Iowegian

I am the Rural Iowegian of a published author and an award winning photographer. I use this space to speak my mind. God Bless.
This entry was posted in Nourishment For The Soul, Sociology, Writing. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Theory was ill Thought Out

  1. Jnana Hodson says:

    So I’m not the only one who found Maslow somehow shallow? Rather than the pyramid, how about something resembling the yin-yang circle?

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