Researchers have always been interested in the way people are motivated to do certain things. Moreover, it is not only interesting but also necessary to understand how priorities are set in order to understand society in general. According to Maslow, motivation was not ruled by random desires, drives or demands. Instead, he identified it as an organized matter, where patterns are supposed to be fulfilled only in a particular order. First successful attempt to systematize needs of one was done by Maslow in 1943. His work was illustrated in a form of a pyramid that detailed hierarchy of needs with five levels, where the lower stages have to be satisfied in order for a person to have time and evergy to proceed to the higher ones. Bottom of the pyramid represented the basic Physiological necessities, such as need in water, food, sleep, sex etc. Next level was focusing on Safety of one with a need in shelter, security of: body, employment, family, health, etc.
Next stage is targeting Love and Belonging, where one needs friendship, partner, intimacy, affection. Next one is Esteem, with needs of confidence, achievements, respect of and by others, and self-esteem. Last but not least, on the top of the pyramid there is Self-actualization, which aims attention at morality, creativity, lack of prejudice, and, most importantly, self-development. In 2010 another, updated version of the pyramid was proposed by Douglas and Kenrick. Their pyramid consists of seven levels. First one illustrates Immediate Physiological Needs. Then there goes Self-protection. Next one is Affiliation, which is followed by Status/Esteem.
After there goes Mate acquisition, Mate retention, and, finally, Parenting. As we can see first few levels of those hierarchy pyramids are the same, only the last ones were changed by Douglas and Kendrick (2010). Basically, the developers “added three new perspectives perspectives: the evolutionary functions of motives, the development of motives over the lifespan, and the cognitive priorities assigned to motives in response to environmental stimuli” (Kenrick, Griskevicius, Neuberg, & Schaller, 2010). Definitely, this addition made it less broad but at the same time it got too focused only on one aspect of one’s life.
The reason for such change to happen was that the authors found the idea of self-actualization (like helping others, creating poetry/art, self-development) only as a tool to attain status, which supposedly would lead to attraction of more possible mates. Moreover, according to Douglas and Kenrick there is no evolutionary explanation for a being to accomplish such level. Personally I find Maslow’s pyramid of needs more reliable and accurate. In my opinion parenting is not and should not be the top need in human beings life, since reproduction is not the most important thing in a life of one. A person can bring much more into the world than just an offspring, instead a person is able not only to develop themselves, help others, find “a place where he/she belongs” but also create something new, solve mysteries of this world, develop general well being of humanity etc.