Saturday, 14 April 2012

Maslow's hierarchy of needs

When I was at college, many moons ago, I studied Behavioural Aspects of Marketing. I didn't much like the sound of it, but it turned out to be the most interesting module of the course!

One of the things we learned about (and today's M in my A to Z Blogging Challenge) was Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Have a peek at the following diagram:

This pyramid displays what Abraham Maslow believed to be our fundamental needs. The most important, basic human needs are at the bottom, and if you can make your way up to the top, you'll be the proud owner of some self-actualization. That's right: you've reached your full potential. How many of us have reached the top? A show of hands please...

Me either!

Maslow's hierarchy of needs completely fascinates me, and I thought I'd share it with you all, as I believe it could slot right in to the writing process!

How so? Well... why don't you try looking at the pyramid with one of your characters in mind? Pick one of the fundamental needs from the pyramid and put it in jeopardy. 

What would happen to your character if you put their friendships or family in crisis? Or how about giving them an achievement, and give the reader that "feel good" factor? 

What would happen if they lost their employment, all of a sudden? Or had a health scare?

Obviously if you remove any of the needs from the bottom row (like breathing), it could get a tad sinister. 

Do you think the pyramid would be beneficial to your own storytelling?

Today's M is for Muddy Waters, singing Rollin' Stone. Goosebumps at the ready, people!

See you on Monday :)



Amanda Saint said...

Great post as always Catherine, and love Muddy Waters - he is great. Do you like any Howlin Wolf as well?

Anna Smith said...

Ooh goosebumps indeed :)

Kyra Lennon said...

I like the idea of using this to think of our characters! Great post!

Cassam said...

You put that across very nicely. I'm sure it will give many food for thought when creating charcters.

Nancy Stewart said...

As a university professor of education, I taught Maslow each semester. I love his theory, because it's so open ended--like trying to reach Nirvana. Nice post.

If you've the chance, pop over to my blog. I'm the award winning author of the Bella and Britt series for kids.


DL Hammons said...

Somebody else posted about this chart today. It relates perfectly to our writing! :)

Catherine Noble said...

@Amanda Saint: Why, thank you! :) Will need to check out Howlin Wolf - I love blues music!

@Anna Smith: I know, right? :D

@Kyra Lennon: Thank you, I hope it is of some use :)

@Cassam: Good luck with your character creations! I'll be dead chuffed if my post has helped in any way!

@Nancy Stewart: Thank you, Nancy! I will indeed pop over to your blog. Congratulations on your award.

@DL Hammons: Ahhh and there I thought I was being unique as well! :)

michelle said...

I also remember Maslow's hierarchy, from behavioural psychology studies, many moons ago...
yes, definitely slots into the writing process... didn't think of it though...
Your post makes me look at this hierarchy of needs in a different light... thanks!

Lisa said...

Really enjoyed every bit! keep them coming! Hierarchy Structure

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