9 Real Life Examples of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Human needs tend to increase daily, and these needs lead us to overcome every challenge, which most of us face almost every day. The famous American psychologist, Abraham Maslow, proposed a hierarchy of human needs and classified them into five categories through which human motivations grow.

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What is Maslow’s Theory of Hierarchy of Needs?

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Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a motivational theory in psychology; comprising a five-tier model of human needs, often depicted as hierarchical levels within a pyramid. The lowest requirement in the hierarchy must be satisfied before moving to higher levels. The Five Basic needs from bottom to top are:

1. Physiological Needs: Food, water, shelter, sleep, excretion, etc.

2. Safety Needs: A sense of security of the self, job security, health security, safe environment, etc.

3. Belongingness and Love Needs: Strong bonds, love relationships.

4. Esteem Needs: Self-confidence, respect, good reputation, etc.

5. Self Actualisation: Morality, spontaneity, and acceptance.

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Now let’s check some daily life examples of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

1. Breathing, Eating, and Drinking

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Imagine a world without oxygen for 5 seconds; we will start dying. Oxygen is an essential requirement for the survival of all living beings. Eating and drinking are also essential for staying healthy. Food and water are, in fact, the two basic requirements for our survival. Air, food, and water come under “physiological needs,” which must be satisfied before moving on to other needs.

2.  Cleansing, Dressing, and Excreting

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Likewise eating and drinking, excretion is a necessary and integral part of our daily life activities, though it is regarded as a highly private activity. Bathing and dressing are also necessary to fulfill our basic needs. It also belongs to “physiological needs.”

3. Employment and Job Security

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Employment is the basic need of any individual to earn a livelihood and satisfy his basic needs. Also, a secured career is, in fact, the dream of everyone. For example, being fired and not having savings can make our safety needs very difficult to get fulfilled. It falls in the category of “safety needs.”

4. Salary and Stable Environment

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After getting a job, a salary and a safe working environment are the two basic requirements of every employee. Throughout their career, employees strive to get into a safe and secure work environment. It belongs to “safety needs.”

5.  Family and Friends

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Perfect family relationships and friendships are what an individual hope for. Not having a good family relationship, support from loved ones, and good friends can make the individual feel lonely, which will not help him to satisfy his needs of love and belongingness. To avoid problems such as loneliness, depression, and anxiety, it is important for us to have a healthy social life. Personal relationships with friends, family, and lovers play an important role, so as being associated with other groups like religious groups, sports teams, book clubs, etc. It falls into the category of “social belonging.”

6. Pensions and Benefits

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We have seen our grandparents getting monthly pensions. Getting a pension makes them feel independent. Hence, benefits like pensions are an important part of the social needs, which make the individual satisfied physically as well as emotionally. It’s an example of “safety needs.”

7. Job Titles and Recognition

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Having a good job title and recognition increases the respect of an employee at the workplace as well in his/her society.  A good job title leads to a rise in his worth. People who are able to satisfy the esteem needs by achieving good self-esteem and the recognition of others tend to feel confident in their abilities. A person stuck on this level will be motivated to work towards increasing all these factors; their actions will be influenced by their need for esteem, i.e. they will be motivated towards performing such tasks that will increase their own self-esteem, as well as the respect they receive from others. This example belongs to “self-esteem.”

8. Academic Results

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When a student is motivated and appreciated, he/she tends to increase his/her academic performance as compared to the less motivated student. An excellent academic result will increase her recognition in the school and society, which will increase the confidence, respect, and esteem of the student. It also belongs to “self-esteem.”

9. Acceptance and Creativity

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Life is not about making more money, having a luxurious home and family; it’s about knowing our self. A human being feels most satisfied when he/she understands that he/she realizes his/her full potential. It comes under “self-actualization” in which a person understands his core strengths. For instance, one person might achieve this feeling of self-actualization by working at NASA, while another can achieve it by teaching children in a small town. Everyone has different parameters of “self-actualization,” and it doesn’t mean you have to become famous to achieve self-actualization. It is about reaching our potentials and understanding our creativity; whether by becoming a painter, politician, or actor.


  1. chris

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