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Personalioz_ _

Abraham H. Maslow
Late. Brandeis University

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Motivation and Personality, Third Edition

Copyright © 1954, 1987 by Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc.
Copyright © 1970 by Abraham H. Maslow

All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. No part of this book may
be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission, except in
the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Maslow, Abraham Harold.

Motivation and personality.
Bibliography: p.

Includes index.

1. Motivation (Psychology) 2. Self-actualization (Psychology) I. Title.

BF503.M375 1987 153.8 86-27051
ISBN 0-06-041987-3

13 14 15 16 17 DOH 02010099
stronger than those idiosyncratic needs we have called the need for self-actuali­
This is an order of choice or preference. But it is also an order that ranges
from lower to higher in various other senses that are listed here.

1. The higher need is a later phyletic or evolutionary development. We

share the need for food with all living things, the need for love with
chavter5 (perhaps) the higher apes, the need for self-actualization with nobody.
The higher the need the more specifically human it is.
2. Higher needs are later ontogenetic developments. Any individual at
birth shows physical needs and probably also, in a very inchoate form,

The Hierarchy of Needs safety needs (e.g., it can probably be frightened or startled, and prob­
ably thrives better when its world shows enough regularity and order­
liness so that it can be counted on). It is only after months of life that
an infant shows the first signs of interpersonal ties and selective affec­
tion. Still later we may see fairly definitely the urges to autonomy,
independence, achievement, and for respect and praise over and above
safety and parental love. As for self-actualization. even Mozart had to
wait until he was three or four.
, 3. The higher the need the less imperative it is for sheer survival, the
longer gratification can be postponed, and the easier it is for the need
to disappear permanently. Higher needs have less ability to dominate,
organize, and press into their service the autonomic reactions and other
capacities of the organism (e.g., it is easier to be single-minded, mon­
The higher needs and lower needs have different properties, but they are the same omaniac, and desperate about safety than about respect). Deprivation
in that both higher needs as well as lower needs must be included in the repertory of higher needs does not produce so desperate a defense and emergency
of basic and given human nature. They are not different from or opposed to human reaction as is produced by lower deprivations. Respect is a dispensable
nature; they are part of human nature. The consequences for psychological and luxury when compared with food or safety.
philosophical theory are revolutionary. Most civilizations, along with their theories 4. Living at the higher need level means greater biological efficiency,
of politics, education, religion, and so on, have been based on the exact contra­ greater longevity, less disease, better sleep, appetite, and so on. The
dictory of this belief. On the whole, they have assumed the biological animal, psychosomatic researchers prove again and again that anxiety, fear, lack
of love, domination, and so on tend to encourage undesirable physical
and instinctlike aspects of human nature to be severely limited to the physiological
as well as undesirable psychological results. Higher need gratifications
needs for food, sex, and the like. The higher impulses for truth, for love, for
have survival value and growth value as well.
beauty were assumed to be intrinsically different in nature from these animal 5. Higher needs are less urgent subjectively. They are less perceptible,
needs. Furthennore, these interests were assumed to be antagonistic, mutually less unmistakable, more easily confounded with other needs by sug­
exclusive, and in perpetual conflict with each other for mastery. All culture, with gestion, imitation, by mistaken belief or habit. To be able to recognize
all its instruments, is seen from such a point of view as on the side of the higher one's own needs (i.e., to know what one really wants) is a considerable
and against the lower. It is therefore necessarily an inhibitor and a frustrator, and psychological achievement. This is doubly true for the higher needs.
is at best an unfortunate necessity. 6. Higher need gratifications produce more desirable subjective results,
that is, more profound happiness, serenity, and richness of the inner
life. Satisfactions of the safety needs produce at best a feeling of relief
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HIGHER AND LOWER NEEDS and relaxation. In any case they cannot produce the ecstasy, peak ex­
periences, and happy delirium of satisfied love, or such consequences
The basic needs arrange themselves in a fairly definite hierarchy on the basis of as serenity, understanding, nobility, and the like.
the principle of relative potency. Thus the safety need is stronger than the love 7. Pursuit and gratification of higher needs represent a general healthward
need because it dominates the organism in various demonstrable ways when both trend, a trend away from psychopathology. The evidence for this state­
needs are frustrated. In this sense, the physiological needs (which are themselves ment is presented in Chapter 3.
ordered in a subhierarchy) are stronger than the safety needs, which are stronger 8. The higher need has more preconditions. This is true if only because
than the love needs, which in tum are stronger than the esteem needs, which are prepotent needs must be gratified before it can be. Thus it takes more


quanta of satisfactions for the love need to appear in consciousness than dividuality, spontaneity, and robotization is also relevant (Fromm,
for the safety need. In a more general sense, it may be said that life is 1941 ).
more complex at the level of the higher needs. The search for respect 15. The higher the need level the easier and more effective psychotherapy
and status involves more people, a larger scene, a longer run, more can be: at the lowest need levels it is of hardly any avail. Hunger cannot
means, and partial goals, more subordinate and preliminary steps than be stilled by psychotherapy.
does the search for love. The same may be said in tum of this latter 16. The lower needs are far more localized, more tangible, and more lim­
need when compared with the search for safety. ited than are the higher needs. Hunger and thirst are much more ob­
9. Higher needs require better outside conditions to make them possible. viously bodily than is love, which in tum is more so than respect. In
Better environmental conditions (familial, economic, political, educa­ addition, lower need satisfiers are much more tangible or observable
tional, etc.) are all more necessary to allow people to love each other than are higher need satisfactions. Furthermore, they are more limited
than merely to keep them from killing each other. Very good conditions in the sense that a smaller quantity of gratifiers is needed to still the
are needed to make self-actualizing possible. need. Only so much food can be eaten, but love, respect, and cognitive
10. A greater value is usually placed upon the higher need than upon the satisfactions are almost unlimited.
lower by those who have been gratified in both. Such people will sac­
rifice more for the higher satisfaction, and furthermore will more readily
be able to withstand lower deprivation. For example, they will find it CONSEQUENCES OF A HIERARCHY OF NEEDS
easier to live ascetic lives, to withstand danger for the sake of principle,
to give up money and prestige for the sake of self-actualization. Those Recognizing the higher needs to be instinctlike and biological; precisely as bio­
who have known both universally regard self-respect as a higher, more logical as the need for food, has many repercussions of which we can list only
valuable subjective experience than a filled belly. • a few.
11. The higher the need level, the wider is the circle of love identification:
the greater is the number of people love-identified with, and the greater 1. Probably most important of all is the realization that the dichotomy
is the average degree of love identification. We may define love iden­ between the cognitive and the conative is false and must be resolved.
tification as, in principle, a merging into a single hierarchy of prepo­ The needs for knowledge, for understanding, for a life philosophy, for
tency of the needs of two or more people. Two people who love each a theoretical frame of reference, for a value system, are themselves a
other well will react to each other's needs and their own indiscrimi­ conative or impulsive part of our primitive and animal nature (we are
nately. Indeed the other's need is one's own need. very special animals). Since we know also that our needs are not com­
12. The pursuit and the gratification of the higher needs have desirable pletely blind, that they are modified by culture, by reality, and by pos­
civic and social consequences. To some extent, the higher the need the sibility, it follows that cognition plays a considerable role in their de­
less selfish it must be. Hunger is highly egocentric; the only way to velopment. It is John Dewey's claim that the very existence and
satisfy it is to satisfy oneself. But the search for love and respect nec­ definition of a need depends on the cognition of reality, of the possibility
essarily involves other people. Moreover, it involves satisfaction for or impossibility of gratification.
these other people. People who have enough basic satisfaction to look 2. Many age-old philosophical problems must be seen in a new light. Some
for love and respect (rather than just food and safety) tend to develop of them perhaps may even be seen to be pseudoproblems resting on
such qualities as loyalty, friendliness, and civic consciousness, and to misconceptions about human motivational life. Here may be included,
become better parents, husbands, teachers, public servants, and so on. for instance, the sharp distinction between selfishness and unselfishness.
13. Satisfaction of higher needs is closer to self-actualization than is lower­ If our instinctlike impulses, for instance, to love, arrange it so that we
need satisfaction. If the theory of self-actualization be accepted, this is get more personal "selfish" pleasure from watching our children eat a
an important difference. Among other things, it means that we may special treat than from eating it ourselves, then how shall we define
expect to find, in people living at the higher need level, a larger number "selfish" and how differentiate it from "unselfish"? Are people who risk
and greater degree of the qualities found in self-actualizing people. their lives for the truth any less selfish than those who risk their lives
14. The pursuit and gratification of the higher needs leads to greater, for food, if the need for truth is as animal as the need for food? Ob­
stronger, and truer individualism. This may seem to contradict the pre­ viously also hedonistic theory must be recast if animal pleasure, selfish
vious statement that living at higher need levels means more love iden­ pleasure, personal pleasure can come equally from gratification of the
tification, that is, more socialization. However it may sound logically, needs for food, sex, truth, beauty, love, or respect. This implies that
it is nevertheless an empirical reality. People living at the level of self­ a higher need hedonism might very well stand where a lower need
actualization are, in fact, found simultaneously to love mankind most hedonism would fall. The romantic-classic opposition, the Dionysian­
and to be the most developed idiosyncratically. This completely supports Apollonian contrast, must certainly be modified. In at least some of its
Fromm's contention that self-love (or better, self-respect) is synergic forms, it has been based on the same illegitimate dichotomy between
with rather than antagonistic to love for others. His discussion of in- lower needs as animal and higher needs as nonanimal or antianimal.

Along with this must go considerable revision of the concepts of rational child rearing, of the formation of the good character in general) must
and irrational, the contrast between rational and impulsive, and the gen­ shift considerably. To many it still means the acquisition of a set of
eral notion of the rational life as opposed to the instinctive life. inhibitions and controls of the intrinsic impulses. Discipline, control,
3. The philosopher of ethics has much to learn from a close examination suppression are the watchwords of such a regime. But if therapy means
of human motivational life. If our noblest impulses are seen not as a pressure toward breaking controls and inhibitions, then our new key
checkreins on the horses, but as themselves horses, and if our animal words must be spontaneity, release, naturalness, self-acceptance, im­
needs are seen to be of the same nature as our highest needs, how can pulse awareness, gratification, self-choice. If our intrinsic impulses are
a sharp dichotomy between them be sustained? How can we continue understood to be admirable rather than detestable, we shall certainly
to believe that they could come from different sources? Furthermore, wish to free them for their fullest expression rather than to bind them
if we clearly and fully recognize that these noble and good impulses into straitjackets.
come into existence and grow potent primarily as a consequence of the 8. If instincts can be weak and if higher needs are seen to be instinctlike
prior gratification of the more demanding animal needs, we should cer­ in character, and if culture is seen as more, not less, powerful than
tainly speak less exclusively of self-control, inhibition, discipline, and instinctlike impulses, and if basic needs turn out to be good and not
so on and more frequently of spontaneity, gratification, and self-choice. bad, then the improvement of human nature may come about via fos­
There seems to be less opposition than we thought between the stern tering of instinctlike tendencies as well as through fostering social im­
voice of duty and the gay call to pleasure. At the highest level of living provements. Indeed, the point of bettering the culture will be seen as
(i.e., of Being), duty is pleasure, one's "work" is loved, and there is giving our inner biological tendencies a better chance to actualize them­
no difference between working and vacationing. selves.
4. Our conception of culture and of people's relation to it must change in 9. In the finding that living at the higher need level can sometimes become
the direction of "synergy," as Ruth Benedict (1970) called it. 'Culture relatively independent of lower need gratification (and even of higher
can be basic need gratifying (Maslow, 1967, 1969b) rather than need need gratification in a pinch), we may have a solution to an age-old
inhibiting. Furthermore it is created not only for human needs but by dilemma of the theologians. They have always found it necessary to
them. The culture-individual dichotomy needs reexamination. There attempt to reconcile the flesh and the spirit, the angel and the devil­
should be less exclusive stress on their antagonism and more on their the higher and the lower in the human organism-but no one has ever
possible collaboration and synergy. found a satisfactory solution. Functional autonomy of the higher need
5. The recognition that humanity'S best impulses are appreciably intrinsic, life seems to be part of the answer. The higher develops only on the
rather than fortuitous and relative, must have tremendous implication basis of the lower, but eventually, when well established, may become
for value theory. It means, for one thing, that it is no longer either relatively independent of the lower (Allport, 1955).
necessary or desirable to deduce values by logic or to try to read them 10. In addition to Darwinian survival value, we may now also postulate
off from authorities or revelations. All we need do, apparently, is to "growth values." Not only is it good to survive, but it is also good
observe and research. Human nature carries within itself the answer to (preferred, chosen, good for the organism) for the person to grow toward
the questions: How can 1 be good; how can 1 be happy; how can 1 be full humanness, toward actualization of potentialities, toward greater
fruitful? The organism tells us what it needs (and therefore what it happiness, serenity, peak experiences, toward transcendence, toward
values) by sickening when deprived of these values and by growing richer and more accurate cognition of reality, and so on. No longer
when gratified. need we rest on sheer viability and survival as our only ultimate proof
6. A study of these basic needs has shown that though their nature is to that poverty or war or domination or cruelty are bad, rather than good.
an appreciable extent instinctlike, in many ways they are not like the We can consider them bad because they also degrade the quality of life,
instincts we know so well in lower animals. Most important of all these of personality, of consciousness, of wisdom.
differences is the unexpected finding that in contradiction to the age­
old assumption that instincts are strong, undesirable, and unchangeable,
our basic needs, though instinctlike, are weak. To be impulse-aware, to
know that we really want and need love, respect, knowledge, a phi­
losophy, self-actualization, and so forth-this is a difficult psycholog­
ical achievement. Not only this, but the higher they are, the weaker
and more easily changed and suppressed they are. Finally they are not
bad but are either neutral or good. We wind up with the paradox that
our human instincts, what is left of them, are so weak that they need
protection against culture, against education, against learning-in a
word, against being overwhelmed by the environment.
7. Our understanding of the aims of psychotherapy (and of education, of

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