Should I understand the Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs as a hierarchy of different emotions sorted/hierarchized by their emotional intensity they create in a person's mind? If not, why?

  • $\begingroup$ Is this a homework question? Please share your attempts to answer this question and explain where exactly you got stuck. What did you do so far to solve your problem? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Sep 16, 2019 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ No, it is not a homework question. I am just trying to grasp the idea of what exactly Maslow was trying to say by his hierarchy of needs. Actually I am a bit confused by a meaning of a word "needs". Does his hierarchy of needs try to show a hierarchy of emotions people prioritize to deal with according to their intensity? Do I understand it right? $\endgroup$
    – TKN
    Sep 16, 2019 at 19:47
  • $\begingroup$ Can you add a link to the article you are referring to? $\endgroup$
    – AliceD
    Sep 16, 2019 at 19:53
  • $\begingroup$ I think it's fair to say Maslow didn't conceptualize needs merely as emotions. A simple inspection of his hierarchy should be enough for this. As for how he conceptualized needs... that's probably a more difficult question. I don't know where he stood on the emotion-cognition issue for instance. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2019 at 1:19
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. We work differently to most SE sites, where we have a strict policy that all questions should show evidence of prior research. As @AliceD requests, please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on Maslow's hierarchy of needs and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? This helps to provide an answer which will be more helpful. $\endgroup$ Sep 17, 2019 at 8:06

1 Answer 1


TKN to the best of my knowledge Maslow himself never associated his hierarchy of needs with emotions per se.

It’s also worth remembering that his Hierarchy is a THEORY and work in the field of experimental psychology, especially animal studies (Panksepp), Fear Conditioning (LeDoux), Consciousness (Damasio) and Interoception (Barrett) while they disagree, have all demonstrated emotions to work in ways that do not map to Maslow’s Hierarchy.

If you’re interested in seeing a schema of Emotions and emotional intensity suggest you have a look at Keltner et al (2019) - Emotional Expression: Advances in Basic Emotion Theory


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