Thursday, October 14, 2010

Parenting rises to the top of the pyramid

A team of psychologists has revised Abraham Maslow's pyramid of needs based on recent research.   Maslow originally proposed the pyramid in 1943 in a paper titled "A Theory of Human Motivation".  The pyramid showed five levels of needs with physical needs at the bottom and self-actualization at the top. 

This is Maslow's pyramid of needs (Credit: Doug Kenrick, Arizona State University):


The revised version also has "Immediate Physiological Needs" at the bottom but now parenting is at the top - where it belongs!  This is the revised version (Credit: Doug Kenrick, Arizona State University):

When the researchers looked into what makes humans successful in surviving as a species, then mate acquisition, mate retention and parenting came in at the top.  Their research paper explains why parenting is seen as more critical to evolutionary success than self-actualization.

I always felt that parenting is the most important job that any of us will ever do ... and now we have the pyramid to back up this claim!
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