Maslow's hierarchy of needs

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Diagram of Maslow's hierarchy of needs.
6. Actualization
5. Status (esteem)
4. Love/belonging
3. Safety
2. Physiological (biological needs)
1. Internet (email, porn, online gambling)

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs is a theory in Psychology that Abraham Maslow proposed in his 1943 paper A Theory of Human Motivation, which he subsequently extended. His theory contends that as humans meet 'basic needs', they seek to satisfy successively 'higher needs' that occupy a set hierarchy. Maslow studied exemplary people such as Albert Einstein, Jane Addams, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Frederick Douglass rather than mentally ill or neurotic people, writing that "the study of crippled, stunted, immature, and unhealthy specimens can yield only a cripple psychology and a cripple philosophy." (Motivation and Personality, 1987)

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often depicted as a home plate consisting of six levels: the five lower levels are grouped together as deficiency needs associated with physiological needs, while the top level is termed growth needs associated with psychological needs. While our deficiency needs must be met, our being needs are continually shaping our behaviour. The basic concept is that the higher needs in this hierarchy only come into focus once all the needs that are lower down in the pyramid are mainly or entirely satisfied. Growth forces create upward movement in the hierarchy, whereas regressive forces push prepotent needs further down the hierarchy.

Deficiency needs[edit | edit source]

The deficiency needs (also termed 'D-needs' by Maslow) are:

Internet needs[edit | edit source]

People have to have Internet. The 'net performs three primary vital functions, along with many secondary ones.

Primary functions:

  • the need for email: Without the Internet, people have to communicate:
    • over the phone, which can reveal how drunk you are by the sound of your voice.
    • in person, which has the same problem as the phone plus they can also see and smell how drunk you are.
    • by SMS, which is very difficult while hammered because of the small, blurry keys.
  • the need for porn: It's not a problem that you're too drunk and lazy to pick up someone from the bar, since Internet porn fills the need.
  • the need for gambling: When you're drunk you need to spend money. Shopping online or using ebay can burn cash but it also ends up filling your home with needless stuff. Online gambling solves this problem. By gambling online you can burn money even faster than going to the bar and buying yourself and others drinks, and there's no risk of a DUI. True, you can't pick up someone to take home for the night online, but that's what online Porn (or for the adventurous, online dating) accomplishes.

Secondary functions:

  • Online dating: A poor substitute for online porn. Yes, you actually get laid, but what knocks on the door is far less attractive than what is seen with online porn. Plus, they can tell how drunk you are, but fortunately they rarely care. You'll want the lights out and a nose plug is many times advisable as well.
  • Ebay: A poor excuse for online gambling. Yes, sometimes you lose which makes things more exciting, but more often than not you get what you pay for which you then have to store in your home.

Physiological needs[edit | edit source]

The physiological needs of the organism, those enabling homeostasis, take second precedence after Internet. These consist mainly of:

Maslow also places sexual activity in this category, as well as bodily comfort, activity, and exercise. Notice that the Internet solves many of these problems, with avid online porn watching creating activity and exercise followed by orgasm and then bodily comfort.

Safety needs[edit | edit source]

When the physiological and Internet needs are met, the need for safety will emerge. Safety and security rank above all other desires. These include:

  • Security of employment
  • Security of revenues and resources
  • Physical security - safety from violence, delinquency, aggressions
  • Moral and physiological security
  • Familial security
  • Security of health

A properly-functioning society tends to provide a degree of security to its members. Sometimes the desire for safety outweighs the requirement to satisfy physiological needs completely.

The Internet makes job searching much easier, encouraging employment security.

Love/Belonging needs[edit | edit source]

After Internet, physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the fourth layer of human needs is social. This involves emotionally-based relationships in general, such as:

Humans want to be accepted and to belong, whether it be to clubs, work groups, religious groups, family, gangs, etc. They need to feel loved (sexually and non-sexually) by others, and to be accepted by them. People also have a constant desire to feel needed. In the absence of these elements, people become increasingly susceptible to loneliness, social anxiety and Depression. The depressed do not spend much time online. Between online porn and specialty message boards, everyone should have sufficient sexuality and group interaction. Not having Internet is depressing.

Status (Esteem needs)[edit | edit source]

Humans have a need to be respected, to self-respect and to respect others. People need to engage themselves in order to gain recognition and have an activity or activities that give the person a sense of contribution and self-value, be it in a profession or hobby. Imbalances at this level can result in low self-esteem, inferiority complexes, an inflated sense of self-importance or snobbishness. There are two levels to Esteem needs. The lower of the levels relates to elements like fame, respect, and glory. The higher level is contingent to concepts like confidence, competence, and achievement. The lower level is generally considered poor. It is dependent upon other people, or someone who needs to be reassured because of lower esteem. People with low esteem need respect from others. They may seek fame or glory, which again are dependent on others. However confidence, competence and achievement only need one person and everyone else is inconsequential to ones own success.

Being needs[edit | edit source]

Though the deficiency needs may be seen as "basic", and can be met and neutralized (i.e. they stop being motivators in one's life), self-actualization and transcendence are "being" or "growth needs" (also termed "B-needs"), i.e. they are enduring motivations or drivers of behaviour.

Self-actualization[edit | edit source]

Self-actualization (a term originated by Kurt Goldstein) is the instinctual need of humans to make the most of their unique abilities and to strive to be the best they can be. Maslow describes self-actualization as follows:

Self Actualization is the intrinsic growth of what is already in the organism, or more accurately, of what the organism is. (Psychological Review, 1949)

Maslow writes the following of self-actualizing people:

Internet related[edit | edit source]

  • They embrace the facts and realities of the world (including themselves) rather than denying or avoiding them. Internet makes this possible.
  • They are spontaneous in their ideas and actions. Then, they share the results in their blog on the Internet.
  • They are creative. Then they post their video up on YouTube.
  • They feel a closeness to other people, and generally appreciate life. You never really know the real person until you've read their online personals profile.

Non-Internet[edit | edit source]

  • They are interested in solving problems; this often includes the problems of others. Solving these problems is often a key focus in their lives. Okay, these people are sorry freaks who obviously have free time to waste because they don't have Internet.
  • They have a system of morality that is fully internalized and independent of external authority. They live in a shack in Montana without Internet, and go by the name 'Unibomber'.
  • They judge others without prejudice, in a way that can be termed objective. Obviously they have never spent time on a message board.

In short, over half of self-actualization is reaching your fullest potential with the Internet, and the other half is some cold, shallow pipe dream lacking in Internet, and thus, reality.

See also[edit | edit source]