Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Is Incomplete — There’s a Final, Forgotten Stage | Best of ’16

Many people think that Maslow’s hierarchy
of needs stopped with self-actualization. And that’s not actually true. He had another piece that was on top of self-actualization
and that was self-transcendence. He just didn’t publish it widely before
he passed away. It was something he started working on towards
the end and so he published the hierarchy of needs before he finished his work on self-transcendence. He was one of the first people really to track
flow and to track some of the more interesting and advanced altered states that human babies
can get to. Things that you would find the terminology
really similar to things that you’ve heard advanced meditators describe. And so he was working on self-transcendence. And he just didn’t publish it. So there’s actually another level on top
of that hierarchy of needs. And so when I think of human psychology I
really think of human psychology as a spectrum and it’s not a series of islands or unique
locations. It’s really sort of a spectrum. And on one end you have what I call areas
that require human support. So this is when people are facing severe stress,
severe anxiety and depression. And then in the middle is what I call the
human condition. And so that is loneliness, happiness, connection,
empathy. The human condition is where we learn how
to deal with our first heartbreak and the first time that we fall in love. The human condition is where we deal with
sadness and betrayal and loss. Basically all the things that happen to you
as you grow up through life. The full spectrum of human emotion. That is the human condition. And there’s an infinite number of songs
on the radio and poems and art that’s about the human condition. So that’s there. And then on this other side which I think
really maps to self-transcendence and Maslow’s later work is the part of the people in the
world who are really pushing on human psychology and what are the limits? Where are our boundaries? What is the frontier of human psychology? And I think a lot of direction that we get
is from the contemplative communities around the world who really have been exploring and
pushing on human psychology for as long as humans have been organized. And pushing on what it is, what does it mean
to be human. The other day I talked to a guy who now has
three Guinness Book records on endurance sports. And he meditates the entire time. And he just swam the English Channel in a
Speedo and he meditated the whole time. So, you know, people are using mind training,
meditation and other things to push into abilities that right now, today, one could say are limited
to the few. But with the advent of things like transformative
technology there’s the ability, the possibility, the potentiality of these extraordinary states,
abilities and conditions to be available to a much wider group of people. And the reason why I think it’s relevant
is what would make it significant, relevant and actionable is that when I think about
the world today and the challenges facing mankind I don’t think the problems are technical. I think they’re human. So last summer I went to Singularity University. I took time out of everything that I’m doing
to go into their graduate studies program and it was a fantastic program. I love Singularity University. And the way that the program is set up is
that it’s this ten-week program and you’re in class from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. every
night and there’s just a parade really of some of the most extraordinary people on the
planet working either in exponential technologies. So AI, robotics, 3D printing, bioinformatics,
everything you could imagine. And people who are on the frontlines of the
challenges facing mankind. Like the people who are working on the water
problems. The people who are teaching in the refugee
camps. The people who are trying and working legitimately,
sleeves rolled up on the ground. The thinking around SU is it’s the place
where exponential technologies are applied to the grand global challenges that are facing
mankind and that being the purpose and the use for them. So for me when I was there my questions always
centered on what is your biggest challenge to what you’re trying to accomplish. And the answers were not technical. The answers were human. It was about fear, one’s own or the people
around you. They were all human problems and it was interesting
to spend the entire summer there because you definitely walk away with the feeling that
the problems aren’t technical. We always figure it out. We got a man on the moon and we have alternative
energy and there’s so many other things that are happening so fast. Changes coming hard and fast just from year
to year if you see the difference in the quality of the robots at the robotic competitions. It’s dramatic year after year after year. And so really the challenge facing mankind
is human. It’s can we get past the fear, aggression,
anxiety, stress. Can we get past that inner dialogue that takes
us off track, either makes us miss out on game day, not perform, makes us unable to
create collaborations and cooperate with other people. Because we do have very real challenges as
a species and the only way that we’re going to solve them is together. We have some very serious conversations that
we have to have about everything from genetic engineering to what do we do with a lot of
the technologies that are coming online whether it’s algorithmic accountability or a variety
of things. And so the way that I see my work and the
way that I see transformative technology is that if we could use the technology to understand
ourselves better, if we can use the technology to start to deliver and help people mimic
the experiences of meditation so that people can be calmer, happier, understand themselves
better, silence the critical voices inside themselves that stir up a lot of trouble. And if they can also connect to other people
better then we can get busy doing the work that needs to be done to create the future
that we’d like to have for ourselves and for our children and our communities on the
planet. So that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.


  1. Maslow himself was smart enough to admit that his hierarchy of needs was faulty, including his own 'extra piece'. It's an idiotic thing to begin with, as humans cannot be boxed in by such a laughably small set of needs.

  2. Actually, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs has been established as a good guiding principle but not stand up to rigorous scientific testing by psychologists for quite some time now…

  3. I am in awe and valiant with what I am a student to in this area of interest to me for the rest of this life. I know this much is true. Thank you, BM.

  4. Well we know we can't transcend humanity when the educated among us can't even transcend platitudes . I mean, saying " Our problems aren't technical, but human" is almost , but not quite , like saying "in order to make a omelette, you have to break some eggs".

    Stoicism maybe a good Philosophy for the individual, but it's not going to change the world

  5. Ms. Brandford is not the right person to share this information. There is some credence to be found in her position, but she's terrible at arriving at the point. More specificity. Less buffer verbiage.

  6. @BigThink: You have 1.7 million subscribers, but only 20.000 views on average. Try out increasing the speed of their speaking. For me they all talk too slow, so I have to use an addon so they talk too much. These videos are too boring cause they talk so slow. PLEASE DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT

  7. I agree with your assessment that technology is not the problem. when I worked in machine shops back in the day I learned a very important lesson it was in my formative years as an apprentice machinist I was shown how to operate particular machines with all the accoutrements that went along with those individual machines, whether it was an acceteline torch or gun etc, I learned quickly and easily, to where they put me on my own to start operating the machines, now the machines were used for various segments of the part you were working on the breaking down of the parts and the machines that built up the parts were a cinch because the result was either undersize, breaking down, or oversized, building up no precision involved the simple parts, the problem came when getting the part down to exact size using Arnold gauges and micrometers and adjusting the machine appropriately to work the part to size. when doing so with the end result being not to size, and were only talking one to three micrometers out it was called "operator technique" what had gone wrong was not technology but the technique in employing that technology by the operator with the end result being slightly outta size. so once the mastery of the technology was aquired the parts came out quicker and on size almost like you, the operator, were part of the machine. lesson learned, you can't blame the machine it's the operator that programs it as to whether it operates properly or improperly. learn your machine.

  8. I believe that if we want to understand ourselves, we need to do so from an evolutionary point of view. We could solve those "human" problems by understanding how we evolved, to become ourselves.

  9. Mmm, what a mix of brilliance and crap! Yes, the biggest problems are human, like fear and anxiety. If we just try to overcome them. The other HUGE problem is people disconnected from feelings, like rational profit seeking managers, taking inhuman decisions. Transcendence means not goal oriented smarter ways to find solutions (close, but not sharp enough), but being of service to the whole.

  10. The biggest problem of humanity is education of the poor and ignorant AND equalization of wealth and knowledge of the population. Before you are going to improve Human, you need to be sure you will improve all humans, not only those priviledged, let others catch up before taking a leap that will leave them behind forever.

  11. Makes sense. Feel the feelings that arise and filter out the negativity using information (that's valid) from technology to reach a higher level effectively faster than the past high conscious/intelligent ancestors could.

  12. That is the self-transcendence I suppose, judging by these sporadic laughs :-). No doubt that positive outlook won't hurt you productivity, but the 'flow state' depends on so many non-measurable things…

  13. So wright, human pshychology is creating the problems; emotional vs. logical thinking. Nature is far from perfect, but a blind force, an echo of the big bang. We are (our soul/conciousness) is merely an emergent property, one that is out of miriad other emergent properties. These are basicaly subjective viewpoints.

  14. Actually Maslow's pyramid of needs is not used anymore. It is a stylish gimmick from the past, but psychology has moved on scince.

  15. What kind of nonsense statement is "the challenges that face mankind are not technical they're human" – that sums up this entire video, a mix of vague statements and a word salad of lazy, uninformed references to respected scientific fields, what is it exactly that you're contributing to these 'transformative technologies' again?

  16. I totally get how meditation could enable one to swim miles through frigid water. However, that shouldn't be confused with the transcendental meditation of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi…or the "mind expanding" nature of DMT. The pursuit and study of Self-Transcendence need not delve into the supernatural for validation. For that matter, Self-Transcendence may simply a matter of making oneself more than merely a "self-aware animal". As pertains to that, it's ironic that millions of people are content to settle for mere subsistence via Welfare Dependency, while millions more work themselves to death in the pursuit of more, more MORE! I wonder if Self-Transcendence is simply figuring out how I (as an individual) can be driven to leave the world better than I left it, while (if not by) learning to be happy with just a tiny bit more than enough.

  17. I thought all of this was part of the self-actualization tier? If not, then this video could have really benefited from having a definition at the beginning.

  18. the power of prayer or meditation when you know what it is you are doing leads to understanding of grace or nirvana. Experienceing it changes the subconscious way you react to thought and memories. past and.present. Meditation with the proper thought og good emotion and why we practice it.

  19. 6:00 We got a man on the moon ? And the NEWS crew arrived there first to record the events.
    The Moon Landing was just another scam and a fraud, a way to extract and steal billions of dollars from from workers salaries, depriving them of their rightful earnings and financial compensation for their time and effort.
    Purportedly used on a project that was and still is impossible . Corporate criminals with their Government puppets scammed the population .. And they continue to do so and lie. Transferring the wealth from the honest hard-working (and often naive) people into their own pocket.
    The common working people struggle to survive and pay their bills and expenses (pay illegal interest usury / riba) while the financial Elite ( corporate criminals and banksters) including tax exempt churches write off everything as a tax loss, which has to be paid for by the common hard-working lower and middle classes, as the debt is passed on to them.
    Money is deducted from their earnings without their authority — to pay and fund fake NASA projects, mercenaries, wars , and repay the debt generated by Government and The Corporate sector who forever seek ever increased profits by pillaging resources from other countries, by any means possible including creation of war, and creating False Flag attacks to justify their actions.

  20. The insight on the problem side and state of things is on point. The more technology comes to delivering the power to destroy the world, the closer we come to that outcome. Never before was world destruction by the push of a button remotely possible. Now, we are either there or getting close to that reality. And, Exponential Technology is increasing at a remarkable rate towards that potential fate.

    Simply stated our power to create or destroy is clearly increasing faster than our human nature can manage. Frankly, our human nature seems about the same as it ever was whereas our individual power is a hockey stick straight up. Those lines on a simple chart intersect at some point and it won't be pretty left unchecked.

    What we have transcended is scarcity, to at least a great degree. Our mindset so far has been geared to scarcity, understandably so, for our entire lifetime as a species. With Exponential Technology that changes. For example, we have the equivalent of the first "moral slaves" in Robotics, Automation, AI and such. Our model of scarcity no longer will serves us well.

    Now, the solution of meditation, which I am a big fan of personally, is a theoretical solution that isn't supported by any facts. That said, our nature isn't going to improve fast enough to steer clear of disaster as old style evolution is way too slow, even if it were in the right direction.

    However, we can and will further change our nature with the same exponentially scaling technology suite that we are changing our outside world with. It remains only a question of who is directing those changes, for what purpose, and precisely how. The fact that human nature will be itself changed dramatically in the near term by the Exponential Technology effect seems inevitable to me.

    How exactly that will manifest itself? No one knows exactly yet as it is so complex with many unknowns but I expect we will find out very soon. If we take the right tack, the possibilities are endless and transcendence seems as good a term as any for it. Else…

  21. maslow is useful for industrial psychology or human resources. do not think of his juju as hard science and psychology. it is a mere approximation.

  22. Really interesting video about human potential. Very few people aspire or achieve their potential. We are constrained by societal rules and it's only when you look past what is expected of you and focus on what your true purpose is that you truly can achieve your potential

  23. Never practice semitic psychology if you're European, it is dystonic to your psychobiology. Study Jung and the German philosophers and psychologists and sociologists of you want to grow and be strong. It is not a matter of being anti anything, it is just fact that our mythology, religion, motivs, drama, narrative has been so diametrically opposed for thousands of years and hundreds of generations that gene expression and psychobiology have made us different. There are very few universals and it is important to find and base your growth off your own roots before accepting others as above your own.

  24. the way i see self-transcendence is really to see and understand for ourselves that there is no self that exist, after all self is subjective. meditation is translation of the word bhavana, which is the pali language in india. it means to cultivate, here we are cultivating the mind. the method is to take our attention from outside and focus it on the inside, which is body and mind. basically, we are watching how our body reacts to our environment. we are watching the processes in our minds, how they work.

  25. Maslow was surprised his theory was so widely accepted with very little questioning or exploration. His heirarchy was intended to "get the ball rolling". Also, he didn't use a pyramid to represent it. This was inferred by others. The problem with the pyramind representation is that it is often (mis)interpreted that these needs can only be satisfied in ascending order, and that a person cannot be satisfied at the either end of the pyramid without being satisfied in the middle.

  26. This is the kind of content 19 year olds are paying $100K a year to get their psychology BA degrees!? What a bunch of crap.

  27. First demonstrate to me that you understand the first tier of Maslow's hierarchy, and then you can progress to the higher levels.

    Tier 1, Sex: Men and women are two different sexes. Explain gender dimorphism. Please.

  28. I am not entirely confident that self-transcendence is a human need, and if so, that it is altogether separate from self-actualization. We could say that we cannot push beyond the boundaries of human psychology; we can only expand upon them through increased knowledge; thus relegating self-transcendence to a component of self-actualization. Pushing beyond the boundaries would require transcending the human condition, into something that we would resist calling human. Once this state is achieved, an entirely new existence and spectrum is realized. In addition, while I am curious about placing human psychology into a spectrum, I am not convinced that the human condition is a component of such, rather the human condition represents the entire spectrum and within that spectrum we find the need for support which begins at birth, the experience of dealing with emotion as well as pushing the boundaries of human thought and even the transition into death.

  29. What is fear? Why does it exist? How do we define the difference between "valid" fear and "unhealthy" fear? Should fear be dismissed?

  30. That freaking "I" is the reason I am disliking this video. It's a never-ending monologue of personal observations and PERSONAL "theories" that are extremely arbitrary and yet are presented as facts.

  31. Nichol, thank you for this video. I am so impressed with the thought & compassion that you bring to our quest to discover the higher reaches of human potential. That said, I was appalled by some of the comments you received in return. Don't lose hope; your message still reaches some of us.

  32. I’m almost half way though this and I don’t think she’s making a whole lot of sense. Not saying it’s all bunk, just that she probably isn’t expressing it as well as she could.

  33. Well done. I was so happy to hear the simple truths that lie beneath the distracted, anxious and disaffected minds we posses today. So simply put and great to hear spirituality explained in a tangible way that people can digest without so much negative stigma. We need to realise we posses the power. We are the gods now and we are responsible for our future. We need to start choosing to have a choice. We are one.

  34. Interesting that psychology as a discipline is still lagging in many ways in comparison to the well developed spiritual traditions.

  35. Public Schools could be cranking out Einsteins as 90% per Class, instead of 1 every Global Generation.

  36. if self transcendence means knowing I am alone in the universe, I have no idea what she's talking about, doing drugs doesn't make you figure it out, thinking you understand doesn't mean you know.

    Humans are limited, some people are special, we all are not. I am not and wow dude below is right this is a commercial for a college, losers, no wonder she doesn't sound like a scientist, where is my Maslow's Hierarchy? now your just rambling…….bye

  37. Unfortunetely when Maslow formulated the needs in 1942 feminism wasnt destroying Western civilization like today so the love part is missing caused by this Marxist ideology called feminism. Western women have been utterly ruined by feminism and men are checking out and birth rates are falling off a cliff.

    Western women with thier feminist indoctrinated narcissistic minds Western women who can hardly cook a meal from basic ingredients or even clean a house sit complaining in a comfortable chair in an airconditioned or heated environment made by men, in factories, designed, built and run by men.

    They drive nice cars invented, built and maintained by men.
    They use a computer invented and programmed by men, built in a factory by men, using electricity discovered by men, transported on a national grid of power lines that were planned and engineered, maintained and made by men, using electricity generated using methods invented by men, in power stations built by and run by men.

    They use the Internet, which uses protocols invented by men, transmitted over cables laid by men, in an international network invented, planned, and made by men. They are fuelled by food that was the result of farms and agriculture planned and created by men, delivered to them by global food networks and transport systems invented and built by men. They are diagnosed and healed from sickness by scientific methods and medicines in hospitals invented and built by men, They live in houses that were invented, planned and built by men, They are entertained by programmes transmitted globally by signal technologies that are beamed directly onto large large and small viewing screens invented and built by men, They are kept warm or cool by technologies invented and built by men, in cities with roads, bridges, shopping malls, movie theatres, hospitals, restaurants and other infrastructure planned and built by men.

    They drink clean water piped into their houses by a national network planned and built by men, from reservoirs and treatment plants that were planned, built and run by men. They are protected by laws invented by men, and enforced by men who risk their lives every day to protect citizens, their property and protect their country.

    Women enjoy the benefits of everything men discovered, invented, created, built and maintain and are treated equally (by law) and allowed to do anything they wish in the society men created, even if lives are put at risk by allowing women to join by lowering mens higher standards for entry into the military/police and fire services.

    And yet there are so many western women who are so privileged and devoid of hardship that they spend their time constantly complaining that all of this is not enough for them, that men should be ashamed, that men have too much in this society that they made, and that men need to give even more to women because they are entitled to it just because they were born a women…and emaculated men agree to it.

    Take away everything that men have done, and western feminist indoctrinated women would be sitting outside in the cold rain without anything to eat until a man comes along and offers them shelter, food, warmth and security.

    Western women are self-entitled fat ass deluded state weaponised thots who routinely without any guilt steal hard working, faithful honest mens children, wealth and livelyhoods and plunge men into abject poverty or even worse suicide by divorce raping them at a whim with no fault divorce. Western women also wrongly think they are equal to or are superior to men.

    What sane man would go anywhere near poisonous parasites like that just for access to poon. its bizarre behaviour for any right thinking man yet these deluded women who bring absolutely nothing to a relationship still complain…

    "where have all the good men gone".

    Marriage is the most irrational decision a modern man can make if he wants to survive free and intact.
    Feminism has ruined the chance for most guys (and women) to have a healthy, fruitful, loving productive relationship.

    This phenomena, while incredibly frustrating for men, will ultimately hurt women the most. Guys have checked out of the endeavor of finding a wife as its just to dangerous.

    Billions of women exist on this planet, women are not special.

    My comment represents the beliefs of millions of Western men, and it's about time too.

    Share these truths guys.. . .. . .

  38. I don't think that Maslow hierarchy is complete. I feel that there is a piece missing from the bottom and this missing piece is 'Parenting'. The other components of the triangle are correct but how can one accomplish the learning of these components without support?

  39. Talk, talk, talk about the workings and value of "transformative technologies" and NEVER give any links to you or to any place where someone interest can see it in any form.

    You are probably a Ph.D. and remind me of the same lot that worked at Xerox Park during the time they had already conceptualized and fundamentally designed Graphical User Interface (GUI), that Steve jobs basically stole when he visited Xerox Park and was able to successfully take that technology to market.

    The Ph.D.s at Park must still be kicking themselves in the pants for for that boo boo. How about you?

  40. 3:54 Definitely. Psychology isn't in the category of Science, it's in fact more like Art. Exactly what the human soul needs.

  41. If we're dealing with some wicked, complex problems, it makes very good sense to consider these, first and foremost, as some human dilemma or condition – not merely or exclusively as a matter of technology. Nichol suggests that self transcendence is a pathway for that sort of deeper, more human consideration.

  42. Very interesting, I strongly believe maslow pyramid has a very important influence on how the world is being controlled in this day and age. The low wages, the constant pressure top down in terms of job stability and Customer satisfaction are obvious attempts to keep us at the low level we are. People at higher levels of pyramid are troublesome, which is why the corporate kingdom does not intentionally let people feel satisfied and secure at lower levels. Freedom seekers and change seekers are all people towards the top of maslow's hierarchy.

  43. I hate to be that guy – and not sure if you are a researcher – BUT can you clearly state what is your independent variable and what is your dependent variable? Also please provide definitions and more examples for 'transformative technologies'. I really like 'self-transcendence' as a variable, but would be better if you defined it more precisely up front.

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