A hierarchy is simply a way of organizing things that goes from high to low. It can be used to refer to a wide number of systems, organizations, and even physical objects that represent such a structure, often called a "hierarchical structure."
Everyday Hierarchy Examples
Following you will find some hierarchy examples:
- The human body itself is a hierarchy. We are made up of systems of organs, which are made up of individual organs, which are composed of tissues, then cells, then organelles.
- Political systems are hierarchies. In America, the hierarchy starts at the top with the president, and then the vice president, then the speaker of the house, then the president of the Senate, followed by the secretary of state.
- Your family tree is a hierarchy starting way, way back with your first ancestors. You are the child of two distinct genetic parents. Both of your parents had two parents, each of the four of whom had two parents.
- Human needs are often represented as a hierarchy. The most important are your physical needs (like eating, drinking, sleeping), followed by security, then a sense of love and belonging, then confidence and esteem, and finally, self-actualization – the stuff that makes you who you are like creativity, values, acceptance of facts.
- The military is a hierarchy. At the very top of the Army, for example, is the general, followed by the lieutenant general, followed by the brigadier general, then general, colonel, lieutenant colonel, major, captain, first lieutenant, second lieutenant, master sergeant, sergeant, corporal, then private.
- The classification of living things is developed as a hierarchy. Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, and finally species are the levels of organization in the field, which is known as "taxonomy."
- Babushka dolls, also known as matryoshka dolls, are a Russian toy. In it, each successive doll is encapsulated in the doll larger than it. This is known as a nested hierarchy and is used to describe things other than matroyshkas.
- Every postal address in our country is a hierarchy with the highest level being the country itself – the United States. After that, the postal address is listed by state, city, street, building, and sometimes the apartment or room number.
- Similarly, our political boundaries are hierarchies, from federal government down to state, city, town, and then borough or municipality, depending on the place.
- The workplace is a hierarchy. Often times, the titles begin with a CEO and then descend down the executive latter to the COO, then to a president, a vice president, a manager, an assistant manager, and then individual employees.
- Churches are very often hierarchies. For example, the Anglican Church has the monarch at the top, followed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, then the Archbishop of York, then the Bishops, followed by Deaneries, and finally a Vicar.
- Poker hands are often grouped in hierarchies, with the royal flush at the top. It is followed by the straight flush, the 4 of a kind, the full house, the flush, the straight, the 4 of a kind, the 3 of a kind, the 2 pairs, 1 pair, and high card.
Now you have seen many different hierarchy examples and structures that are classified as hierarchies. These examples should help you to better understand what hierarchy is and how hierarchies work.