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Is Self-Actualisation the Top of Maslow’s Pyramid?

Joseph Sparks

27th February 2017

What’s missing from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs?

When Maslow died, his famous Hierarchy of Needs wasn’t quite finished. Most people are familiar with a pyramid which starts with physiological needs at the bottom and reaches self-actualisation at the apex. However, in his later years, he added a new apex: self-transcendence, where humans develop a sense of meaning or purpose.

According to Maslow, humans have to see themselves as a broader part of society and develop priorities that can help humankind survive as a species.

This revelation makes an interesting discussion when teaching the Humanistic Approach. Students will often consider whether it is possible to reach the top of the pyramid and now that goal just became more difficult…or has it? To read the full article, click here.

Image by Mahesh is licensed under CC 4.0 International -

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Joseph Sparks

Joseph is a Subject Advisor for Psychology at tutor2u. He is an experienced Psychology & Music Teacher, Writer, Examiner and Presenter. He is currently completing a Professional Doctorate in Education and is passionate about the impact of technology on teaching and learning.

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