Recognition Needs

Definition of Recognition Needs

On the path to self-realisation, there are 4 links before reaching the integral development of the being, in which the being feels in complete happiness and harmony.

This path is represented by Maslow’s Pyramid and it indicates that the fourth level, which precedes the peak of the pyramid, is the need for recognition.

According to Abraham Maslow, author of the essay A Theory of Human Motivation (1943), from which the well-known Maslow Pyramid emerges, he states that there is a level of needs related to the recognition or esteem of human beings.

Maslow divides these needs into two: on the one hand, he says that there is a need for lower esteem, which is related to the recognition of others, respect, dignity and reputation that a person has within society.

On the other hand, the need for higher esteem refers to the self in itself, its self-esteem, confidence, security, freedom and independence.

It is worth noting that if a human being does not feel valued within a society, he or she may feel inferior and insecure, generating a dissatisfaction that distances him or her from self-realisation.

Furthermore, the need for lower esteem is more related to the ego of the self. Therefore, if the person focuses this need on satisfying his lower esteem, he will generate more unhappiness than if he is more concerned with satisfying his higher esteem.

Practical Examples of the Need for Recognition

When the being is seeking to satisfy his needs for recognition, it is because his social, security and physiological needs are already fully or moderately satisfied. Therefore, at this level, the being wants to feel that he/she is valued by the community to which he/she belongs.

In the individual case, Maslow’s theory applies when a person is decorated, awarded by his company, wins a competition, has followers who praise his work, and receives thanks and applause from his community.

This level is extremely important in competitive fields such as sports. For example, the Tour de France champion (2019) Egan Bernal in an interview for the newspaper El PaĆ­s expressed what he felt after winning the tour “Life has changed me a lot, it has been something very nice and you feel that, that people already recognise me a little for being the champion of the Tour de France, and that’s something cool”. Undoubtedly, it is the happiness of a satisfied need.

On the other hand, advertising campaigns often attack the need for recognition of the self, especially in companies in beauty, fashion, clothing, accessories and luxury brands.

In advertisements, companies seek to evoke a feeling of recognition by society if they use their product. Do you see it in these examples?

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