Cognitive Needs

Most people have a desire to know, to solve mysteries, to understand and to be curious. Maslow (1970) called these desires cognitive needs. When cognitive needs are blocked all needs on Maslow s hierarchy are threatened; that is, knowledge is necessary to satisfy each of the five conative needs. People can gratify then physiological needs by knowing how to secure food safety needs by knowing how to build a shelter, love needs by knowing how to relate to people, esteem needs by knowing how to acquire some level of self-confidence, and self-actualization by fully using then cognitive potential.

Maslow (1968b, 1970) believed that healthy people desire to know more, to theorize, to test hypotheses, to uncover mysteries, or to find out how something works just for the satisfaction of knowing. However, people who have not satisfied then cognitive needs, who have been consistently lied to, had then curiosity stifled or have been denied information, become pathological, a pathology that takes the form of skepticism, disillusionment, and cynicism.

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