Monthly Archives: February 2018

What Are Your Human Needs?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

Recalling educational memories from school learnings, we tend to remember best the subjects that held our interests the most  and/or excelled in.  Many of those favorite courses  led to what we eventually leaned toward in selecting colleges or occupations.    One of the subjects that stands out for me was Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs.   This humanistic psychology subject was never mentioned in primary or secondary schools but in college studies, this subject was mentioned in almost every elective taken.  It began in Psychology 101 and  was interwoven somehow in each and every class.    One could guess where it would show up as the course studies  advanced.  The Maslow course centered on humanistic needs lowest to highest –  beginning with physiological, safety, love/belonging, esteem, and self-actualization.

With all the good things Americans may have accesss to every day, have you ever thought about  what motivates you  and how many factors give you the best life and make you happy?

Maslow’s Hierarchy is based on positive human motivation psychology which does  not  focus on increasing well-being solely for eliminating anxiety, but instead focuses on increasing well-being for the sake of improving people’s lives and improving society.  Abraham Maslow was driven by a similar desire to help people live the best lives they could, acknowledging their unique humanity along the way. The personal experiences that most shaped this desire for Maslow were his childhood isolation and his powerful reaction to the horrors of World War II.

Motivation theory suggests five interdependent levels of basic human needs (motivators) from the bottom upwards that must be satisfied in a strict sequence starting with the lowest levels.  This came about when Maslow,  a 33-year-old father with two children observed the horrors of mass warfare and gave him a sense of urgency.  He changed  his focus to human motivation and self-actualization (a person’s desire to use all their abilities to achieve and be everything that they possibly can).  Maslow’s research interests were driven by personal experience and shared experiences, which helps explain his contributions to humanistic psychology.

Maslow explains  his Hierarchy of Motivation theory by  suggesting  the five interdependent levels of basic human needs  that must be satisfied in this sequence:  

The first two basic (and lowest)  levels of need are considered basic needs or Physiological, which are based on the need for survival and safety. (for example – Air, Water, Food, Clothing and Shelter.)  The second stage is:  Safety & Security  – Personal and Financial Security, and Health & Safety  Net.

The third stage is the social stage:  It is also called love/belonging and  is not based on basic needs but instead on psychological or emotional needs. The primary source of behavior at this stage of development is the need for emotional connections such as friendships, family, social organizations, romantic attachments, or other interpersonal relationships,

The fourth stage:  Esteem – Maslow considered lower-level esteem need for the respect of others through status, recognition, fame, prestige, and attention, while he described higher-level  esteem needs as the need for self esteem strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence, independence, and freedom.

The fifth and highest stage:  Self-actualization – is a person’s desire to use all their abilities to achieve and be everything that they possibly can.    Maslow suggested that actually achieving total self-actualization was exceedingly rare. Rather than thinking of self-actualization as a destination, it can be helpful to think of it as a journey.

While humanistic psychology is past its peak of influence, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is still a major, well-known aspect of modern psychology. The hierarchy of needs has recently been adapted for use in hospice care, for use in urban planning, development, and management, and even for the study of policing.

The Pros and Cons of Cell Phones


I began to write this article with intent to point out the ways that cell phones have changed our lives.  Some believe that cell phones  have greater advantages than its disadvantages.   My first thoughts were primarily focused on the ‘addiction’ aspect that seems to have replaced the original cell phone usage as a popular communication tool. 

I had barely started to write about this when a TV Alert announced the horrific shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.  Not only was it televised live, it had  videos of the hallways and classrooms, sounds of gunshots, screams and cries for help. We were also transported to the crime scene through the cell phone cameras of the victims. This is a new slant and terrifying.   We were there with them within the halls.

Students at the high school posted alerts on Twitter and videos on Snapchat while the attack was still underway.   During the lockdown, students also texted their loved ones.  Some begged siblings and parents to call 911 for help.  Some just wanted to tell their families that they loved them.   Although viewers were warned in advance that the content was disturbing, it didn’t warn about the emotional impact to one’s gut and heart watching these young, terrified students running with their hands up.  Their show of helplessness stirred us personally ..thinking and imagining our own children or grandchildren in their place while we watched the cell phone videos and heard the gun shots as they were happening.   And imagining the thinking of the parents who didn’t get a call.

Thank God, they had cellular phones, one of the greatest inventions in the late 20th century.  However, these same phones have  now have become the newest addiction in the world.   I was not feeling friendly about cell phones as I started this article.   Although there is need of them in many professions, and our lives,  the use of cell phones has inundated its basic need in daily life.

Mobile entertainment is a large pull to many.   So are texting messages.   We can play games,  engage social networking (e.g. twitter, facebook, skype) and compile photo & videos all on your cell phone.  Some  even call cell phones  “the newest cigarette”, as people take it out it quickly while taking a break.   It is good to be in contact with family & friends, as the article states  but if you spend 5 hours staring at the screen every day, you must be addicted to your phone.

It is believed  that cell phones  have  greater advantages than its disadvantages, and we shouldn’t stop to use cell phone as a popular communication tool.  But when cell phone addiction grows stronger and stronger, people would eventually realize how serious this could be.

To put it another way, four out of every 10 people are mobile gamers. More specifically, 2.3 million play mobile games every day, accounting for 6.2 percent of the total cell phone subscribers, including 15 percent of cell phone users in their teens and twenties.  People in 21st century are using more time to play games instead of doing regular calling, and most of them are teenagers.

Some believe that modern technology has us all talking to each other and increases our relationships in numbers and quality .  Some believe that cell phone addiction could  hurt our relationships,  even for couples.  It can harm their quality of life if one of them constantly has the phone by his/her side and/or has to play with the phone for hours.

We all know the hazards of driving while texting.   Every year, a huge number of accidents happen on the road and cause thousands of people’s lives, many of them caused  by cell phoning because people are still used to making  a call during driving.   There are more than 2,000,000 drivers caught by police that dangerously use use cells phone in the car.    The whole world is addicted to driving and making calls, which , becomes a global issue. Choosing cell phone addiction over common sense might not only hurt you, but also even take your life.  Or find oneself  in a ditch.

Multi-functional cell phones  have  given us convenient pleasure and technology.  However,  it doesn’t mean it has no negative effect.  No matter how helpful the cell phone is, we cannot ignore it’s bad impact to human-beings if they are not cautious.    There are need of them in many professions  such as doctors, police, responders, etc.,  which require them in emergency situations.   Women are more likely than men to say that getting help in an emergency situation is the thing they like most about carrying a cell phone.

Cell Poll:  The average person checks a cell phone 110 times a day.   Forty % check it on the john.  12% use it in the shower.  56% check them before sleep.  75% check after they sleep. 61% sleep with the phone turned on.  56% (of parents) check their devices while driving.  77% of parents & teens have argued about smartphone use.   50% of teens admit they are addicted to their cell phones.  26% of car accidents are caused by phone usage.  44% check job-related emails daily while on vacation.  50% of users feel uneasy when they leave their phones at home.   What do users like most?   Convenience/Convenient.   What do they like least?  Always reachable / Always connected / People bothering me.

75% of users admit they have texted at least once while driving.

The question that started my inclination to write about cell phones was this one:  “However, is it really important for students to hold a cell phone all day long?”    After Parkland, Florida,  I need to rethink  that one.

Marie Coppola  February 17, 2018