04 Maslow: Motivations

I looked up an older set of principles to see how these these 6 principles of Cialdini might compare.  Abraham Maslow wrote a paper in 1943 called “A Theory of Human Motivation”.  This theory contends that when people have met their basic, physiological needs, they will then work to satisfy their higher needs.  Maslow based his study on exemplary and successful people.

Maslow’s work explains Cialdini’s later research, and why sales works at all.

People work to fill their basic physical needs first.  Breathing, drinking, eating, eliminating waste, and having sex are basic needs of any person.  If these are not met, you can find physical pain occurring.

After these comes physical and emotional security.  Security from crime or violence, security of job, security of finances (pay check and savings), security of family, security of health, and security of personal property.  You have to be safe in what you own and where you live and where you work.  Worry is found where these are not resolved.

Social needs are next.  These include friendship, sexual intimacy, and a supportive family.  Belonging to groups and being able to give and receive love from others is a very prized solution.  This gives the reason for bitter divorces and hatred of those who betrayed you.

Esteem needs then follow.  All humans have a need to be respected, to have self-respect and to respect others.  This is not just fame and glory.  It also involves confidence, competence, and achievement.

While you can be personally secure in your own self, it doesn’t hurt when someone pays you an honest complement.  See the actual strengths in a person and tell them so – they will feel better for it.

Cognitive needs – acquiring knowledge and understanding.  There are many phrases which say, “When you quit learning, you die. ” We are all seeking to understand the world around us.

Aesthetic needs – expressing and appreciating beauty.  People like to have beautiful surroundings and to look beautiful themselves.  They will help people around them to become more beautiful.  Beauty is more than skin deep.

Growth needs – we don’t stop growing as we get older.  The need for evolution is constant and a basic drive.  One is always seeking the next level.  It’s just the way this universe is set up.  Plant a seed and watch it grow.

Self-actualization – be the best you can be is not just a slogan.  At the highest level, people are trying to make the most out of their native abilities and achieve the purpose that drives them in this life.  We all seek to be our best – at whatever we’ve chosen to do and become.  We all can’t be Einstein’s or Bill Gates’, but we can be the best person we know how.

Maslow had a great deal more to say about his theory.  And you should explore this on your own.  Wayne Dyer, who studied under Maslow, is a great help in this area – through his tapes and books you can learn many, many things about yourself and the world around you.

Our use of this is also to see how people work – what makes them tick.  – not just to sell them stuff, especially at inflated prices with no delivery like scammers.

Comparing Maslow to Cialdini, you can see that while some have used Cialdini to just pick the key points to use in triggering their sales, with Maslow’s theory as a base, you can also identify your customer and see what they are most likely to want next.  However, most telemarketers are operating on the law of averages and only 1) want to make their sale, and 2) resell your name and number to another telemarketer.

Our point here is that you can use what Maslow and Cialdini wrote in order to figure out what you actually want and need from life, which may be wildly different from the group you deal with at work, what your friends think – or even what someone you respect and look up to regards as important.

And that’s what is really key in learning how to become “spammer-proof”
There is another author to study, one who nearly died trying to live by life’s rules – until he found out how the universe actually worked.

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And here’s the presentation which covers the above:

Next, Lesson 04 – the three desires which fuel all scams and makes them work on us.

  1. Great information… Never thought Maslow had much to do with the living world around us – always thought he was some academic. Now it makes sense when applied to getting scammed. Odd way to make an introduction, I imagine… enslow@ymail.com

  2. Jim Worstell says:

    Good stuff, but how would it change if Maslow’s hierarchy is inadequate. Several research areas indicate it is. 1. hungry people and even monkeys will spurn food if obtaining it requires them to shock someone. 2. If people and even mice are bored enough, they will choose novel stimuli over food, even if they are very hungry. 2. In many situations, children help others without reward, though monkeys don’t. So curiosity, altruism, cooperation often trump the allegedly more basic motivations. And, of course all the anecdotes of people sacrificing themselves for others means they are disregarding all of Maslow’s hierarchy for something beyond themselves.
    I’ve got a powerpoint on all this which I used in my Ukraine lectures, and I’ll try to get it up.

    • robertworstell says:

      @Jim Does this mean then that higher points of the hierarchy remain fairly valid – sacrificing for a higher good could be considered a form of self-actualization. Let me know when your powerpoint is up so I can cross-link this.

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