Humanistic psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) developed a model that represents the motivational needs of humans. In this model, Hierarchy of Needs (1943), Maslow conceptualizes that human needs are met in five steps that begin with the basic physiological need (those of hunger, thirst, avoidance of pain, procreation, elimination). He then goes on to say that we may then become motivated to meet the needs for safety (of self, home, and those we love or care for), for love and belongingness (emotional bonds for intimacy, friendships, and social connections), to feel esteemed (the need for achievement, respect prestige, status, and/or approval) (Nevid, 2013). Maslow's hierarchy ends with the highest need, that of self-actualization. He feels that only after we meet the lower needs, can we begin to move up each step until we reach the fulfillment of human potential at the stage of self-actualization.
The lowest need in Maslow's hierarchy is that of the basic needs those, which ensure human physical survival. Such needs are of oxygen, water, food, shelter and sleep. These needs, which are essential to human life, we must meet in order to achieve the motivation necessary to reach the next goal in Maslow's hierarchy. Say for example, you are hungry. The need to satisfy that hunger takes precedence over the next need in the hierarchy, the need for safety. You will first seek food, when found is when you will begin to look for a safe place in which to eat.
Upon meeting the most basic of needs, we are able to focus on those of safety, which come forth to protect us, our families and friends, and our property. According to Maslow (1943), this need is also of "an organized world rather than an unorganized or unstructured one." (p. 377). Safety needs also refer to the security one feels in regards to the what-ifs in life as well, like those of medical emergencies, unexpected unemployment, disability, and old age. I feel this need in met in my life in a variety of ways. First, where I live there is very little crime. I am able to leave my doors unlocked when I leave the house or go bed at night. This provides me a security of my shelter, which is one of the most basic human needs. Medical insurance provides me with security in my health. I do what I can in order to avoid injury, but know that if something were to happen my insurance will help to cover the costs and get me back on my feet.
Those who are unable to meet the needs of safety and security may show signs of neuroticism because they are unable to feel safe because of forces unseen. Still, others strive to create a sense of stability, as Maslow stated (1943), "to order and stabilize the world so that no unimaginable, unexpected or unfamiliar dangers will ever appear." (p. 380). In both of these situations, the abnormal mind is searching for a way to meet the need for safety and does so the only way it deems possible, which appears as abnormal behavior..
After meeting the physical needs through...