Practical Hierarchy Of Needs Revised To Include TreehousesAnna North7/16/10 1:20pmFiled to: What a girl needsMaslow's hierarchy of needsNeedsSelf-actualizationParentingDouglas kenrickevolutionary psychologyPyramidTreehouse200EditPromoteShare to KinjaToggle Conversation toolsGo to permalinkEvolutionary psychologists have edited Abraham Maslow's legendary hierarchy of needs to replace "self-actualization" with "parenting." In response, we've created our own hierarchy of material needs — because who needs self-actualization or kids when you've got hand towels?AdvertisementWriting for Miller-McCune (via the Times Idea of the Day blog), Tom Jacobs explains the rationale behind the update. Maslow's old hierarchy — in pyramid form — "spells out the underlying motivations that drive our day-to-day behavior and points the way to a more meaningful life." But according to Douglas Kenrick and his team, "our strongest and most fundamental impulse, which shapes our day-to-day desires on an unconscious level, is to survive long enough to pass our genes to the next generation." As a childless person, I don't buy that "all our achievements are linked in one way or another to the urge to reproduce." But while Kenrick tries to link human behavior to animal urges, he's forgotten one very human characteristic: the drive to buy. And really, even the desire to reproduce seems a little abstract when it comes up against, say, the desire for knives. Herewith, our hierarchy of material needs:Food, Water, ShelterAdvertisementBasic material needs are at the bottom of both Maslow's and Kenrick's pyramids, and we can't argue with that. If you don't get these, you'll die. KnivesYou can definitely survive without a decent set of knives. However, if you can't cut anything, you will end up making meals like a Gardenburger with a pile of sprouts and ketchup on top. I've been there, and it's not awesome. Plus, if you have a knife you can stab an intruder.Hand TowelsI've talked about hand towels before, but I'll say it again: having these in your bathroom means you've taken care of the basics, and you're ready to move on to stuff that, while not strictly necessary, definitely makes life less gross.