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Abraham Maslow (1908-70)

believed each of us has our own inner nature and a strong motivation to express it, but our lower, basic needs must be met before this can happen.

If our basic survival needs such as food and water are not met Maslow believed a person would have to spend time and energy trying to meet them, so would not then have the energy or drive for love, esteem or self fulfilment needs at a 'higher' level in the hierarchy. However, if a person grows up well-fed, safe, loved and respected, self-actualisation becomes more possible.

Unmet needs could lead to feelings to alienation, anguish, apathy and cynicism.


Esteem (success, status)

Love and belonging
(friendships, partners, pets, support family acceptance etc.)

Safety needs (security, stability, hygiene)

Basic survival needs (food, water, shelter, sleep, etc.)


Tully (1986)

has a similar view:

We all need ...

A setting in which to live

A setting in which to grow

A setting for greater independence

A setting for meaningful relationships

A setting for normal daily life