A Theory of Human Motivation by the American psychologist Abraham Maslow written in 1943, has become a highly referenced source of information for determining our needs. In the field of psychology, this paper explains the hierarchy of basic needs that need to be fulfilled in sequence to reach self-actualization. This pyramid of needs has been criticized for not being based on scientific proof and for being overly-schematic. In the field of psychology, it is a useful tool for determining theories of human motivation. The Hierarchy of Needs is used professionally in some workplaces to market services to consumers.

1. What Is the Pyramid of the Hierarchy of Needs?

The hierarchy of needs is depicted in the form of a pyramid with our basic needs being the largest part of the scheme. It consists of five components that determine our motivations for our behavior in a specific order; we can only progress to the next level once the needs from the bottom have been met.

maslow's hierarchy of needsMikko Lemola / Getty Images