The A2B Newsletter aims to improve your life by taking you from Point A to Point B. Every email shares one self-improvement idea you can read in five minutes or less.

Point A

Do you ever wonder why people act the way they do? Or, have you ever struggled to explain your own behavior? If so, this edition of the A2B Newsletter can help.

Point B

By learning a simple system, you can understand why people do what they do.

Motivation Is King

Motivation drives all human behavior. When you understand what motivates someone, you increase your odds of understanding their behavior.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow developed a categorized list of human needs. These needs are a great resource for understanding motivation. For example, we are motivated to find food and water because we need both to survive.

In total, Maslow defined five categories of human needs.

1. Physiological needs are requirements for survival. Food, water, shelter, oxygen, sex, and sleep are examples of physiological needs.

2. Safety needs keep us secure and in control. Financial security, emotional stability, and avoiding threats are examples of safety needs.

3. Belongingness and love needs explain our desire for social connection. Friendship, intimate relationships, family, and social groups fulfill belongingness and love needs.

4. Esteem needs explain our desire to feel competent. We fulfill this desire through self-confidence and feeling valued by others.

5. Self-actualization needs explain our desire to reach our potential. Personal achievements, creative endeavors, and career development satisfy self-actualization needs.

Using Maslow’s Model To Understand Human Behavior

When you understand Maslow’s categories, you can explain human behavior by matching a particular behavior with a motive. In fact, the motivation for any behavior can be explained by one or more of Maslow’s categories. Here are a few examples.

You meet a friend for lunch because it fulfills your desire for friendship and food. You scroll through social media because it meets your desire for recognition and social connection. And, you start a part-time art business because it satisfies your desire for creativity and self-fulfillment.

Want More?

My video and article on human behavior are full of additional information.

The full-length versions include:

  • An explanation of what Maslow got wrong
  • Thoughts on how to improve Maslow’s model.
  • An explanation of why people choose one behavior over another
  • More ideas for understanding human behavior
  • How to overcome problems you might face when analyzing human behavior.
  • Advice on how to prevent yourself from taking these ideas too far
  • Lots of examples and diagrams

So, be sure to watch or read to learn more about human behavior.


Chris Thornham 80/20 Financial Planner
Take Control Of Your Finances

Reduce financial stress, reach financial freedom, and achieve financial goals like buying a home, paying off debt, and investing for retirement.

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