At the base of Maslow’s pyramid are physiological needs – hunger, thirst and sexual desire.
At the top of the new pyramid are three evolutionarily critical motives that Maslow overlooked – mate acquisition, mate retention and parenting.
A team of psychologists have updated a cornerstone of modern psychology — Abraham Maslow’s pyramid of needs.
Maslow’s pyramid describes human motivations from the most basic to the most advanced.
According to experts, Maslow’s time-tested pyramid, first proposed in the 1940s, needed to be updated to reflect the last 50 years of research.
A team of psychologists, including two from Arizona State University, recast the pyramid.
In doing so, they have taken on one of psychology’s iconic symbols and have generated some controversy along the way.
The revamp of Maslow’s pyramid reflects new findings and theory from fields like neuroscience, developmental psychology and evolutionary psychology, said Douglas Kenrick, an ASU professor of psychology and lead author of the paper, “Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations.”Despite being one of psychology’s most memorable images, Maslow’s pyramid hasn’t always been supported by empirical research, said Steven Neuberg, an ASU Foundation professor and coauthor of the paper.“Within the psychological sciences, the pyramid was increasingly viewed as quaint and oldfashioned, and badly in need of updating,” Neuberg added.“It was based on some great ideas, several of which are worth preserving,” Kenrick said.“But it missed out on some very basic facts about human nature, facts which weren’t well understood in Maslow’s time, but were established by later research and theory at the interface of psychology, biology and anthropology.”Maslow developed the pyramid of needs to represent a hierarchy of human motives, with those at the bottom taking precedence over those higher up.
But if you are satisfied on one level, you move to the next. Once you are safe, you worry about affection and esteem and so forth.
Perhaps most famously, at the top of Maslow’s pyramid sat the need for self-actualization – the desire to fulfill one’s own unique creative potential.
The research team – which included Vladas Griskevicius of the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, and Mark Schaller of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver – restructured the famous pyramid after observing how psychological processes radically change in response to evolutionarily fundamental motives, such as self-protection, mating or status concerns.
The bottom four levels of the new pyramid are highly compatible with Maslow’s, but big changes are at the top.