Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Abraham Maslow was a humanistic psychologist who proposed a five-tiered hierarchy to explain the motivations behind behavior. Maslow's contribution was two-fold: 1) arranging human needs into a hierarchy, and 2) separating out self-actualization needs and placing them at the pinnacle. According to Maslow, in general, lower (or more basic) needs must be satisified to at least a reasonable level before the higher level needs can even manifest themselves.
You may have studied this in another class. In this class, we want to see how we can use the concept to help us be more effective persuaders.
The needs include:
Physiological needs. These are the most basic needs: survival needs such as food, water, air, shelter. It also includes the need for a reasonably comfortable environment. For example, people find it difficult to keep their minds on things when they are too hot or cold, or somewhere exposed to a truly noxious odor. Although in our culture for the most part (with definite exceptions) we take the satisfaction of these needs for granted, keep in mind that we are talking about psychological motivation. Many people who have not gone hungry in years may still be haunted by experiences from childhood in the depression or during World War II, and so be motivated by the fear of losing in this area.
 Will the career your looking at pay the bills? Choosing a field such as Art could leave you struggling to meet these needs for a while.
Safety/security needs. This is basically dealing with the need to be free from threats or predators, and the need to have life run smoothly (a very unsatisfied need in our society). Includes appeals to safety and control as well as to tradition.
 How safe is your job? Working for the city repairing streets pays well, but is highly hazardous. The level of danger in a job must be taken into consideration.
Belongingness and love needs. Includes the need for satisfying relationships with other people, the needs for acceptance, the need to be part of a group, the need for friendship, nurturance, and gratification.
 Will you feel loved, or like part of a group? Police Officers take a lot of negative treatment. Security officers can find themselves alone on the premises they are pretecting for hours at a time.
Esteem needs. The need for esteem basically is the need for others to look up to you. It includes the need to be respected by others and recognized by others (praise, status symbols, etc.). Basically, the need to be treated as a valuable and important person. Independence and success are values here as well as in self-actualization.
 How much prestige is involved in your job? Does it matter to you whether you're famous, or stay anonymous. Lack of prestige should also be taken into account. A plumber makes a lot of money, but isn't exacly envied.
Self-actualization needs. The need to develop and grow as a person, to find one's identify, to fully realize one's potential. Also includes the need to achieve satisfaction by a personal standard of excellence (as opposed to whether someone else thinks so or not).
 Do you feel you are successful and independant? Will you be satisfied with where you are in life in this career? Make sure you won't be looking back on your career choice regretting it, or wishing you had done more.