Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations

Douglas T. Kenrick, Vladas Griskevicius, Steven L. Neuberg, Mark Schaller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

430 Scopus citations

Abstract

Maslow's pyramid of human needs, proposed in 1943, has been one of the most cognitively contagious ideas in the behavioral sciences. Anticipating later evolutionary views of human motivation and cognition, Maslow viewed human motives as based in innate and universal predispositions. We revisit the idea of a motivational hierarchy in light of theoretical developments at the interface of evolutionary biology, anthropology, and psychology. After considering motives at three different levels of analysis, we argue that the basic foundational structure of the pyramid is worth preserving, but that it should be buttressed with a few architectural extensions. By adding a contemporary design feature, connections between fundamental motives and immediate situational threats and opportunities should be highlighted. By incorporating a classical element, these connections can be strengthened by anchoring the hierarchy of human motives more firmly in the bedrock of modern evolutionary theory. We propose a renovated hierarchy of fundamental motives that serves as both an integrative framework and a generative foundation for future empirical research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)292-314
Number of pages23
JournalPerspectives on Psychological Science
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2010

Keywords

  • Development
  • Evolutionary psychology
  • Humanistic psychology
  • Life-history theory
  • Motivation
  • Positive psychology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Renovating the pyramid of needs: Contemporary extensions built upon ancient foundations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this