Climbing Maslow's Pyramid
Anyone who has taken psychology 101 has heard of Maslow's hierarchy of needs, also referred to as Maslow's pyramid because it is usually depicted as such.
Dr. Maslow identified the universal needs of every human being and classified them going from most basic to highest. His claim was that a person would not be able to realize his true potential and attend to his higher needs unless his lower needs were met. For example someone who is on the brink of starvation will not worry about getting his doctorate (unless trying to get his doctorate is the cause of his starvation).
Maslow's hierarchy lists human needs in this order: Physiological needs (food, water, air); Safety needs (shelter from cold, rain, snow, katyushas); belongingness needs (friends, family, community); Esteem needs (a job, appreciation, a title); Self Actualization needs (reaching one's creative potential, having one's article published).
On the surface, Maslow's argument makes sense. One occupied with basic survival will not have the time or energy to worry about making the social register, being published or receiving the Nobel prize. The ephemeral would be eclipsed by the basic physiological requirements of existence.
However, though Dr. Maslow's model is one of the few things that I remember from psychology 101, it is easy to disprove.