HOW YOUR NEEDS INFLUENCE YOUR BEHAVIOUR
UNDERSTANDING HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
NEEDS DRIVE YOUR BEHAVIOUR
You see a man driving his car very fast, quite dangerously.
You wonder why he is doing so, why he is behaving in this reckless way.
Well, there can be many reasons for his behaviour.
Maybe he is driving fast to experience a sense of thrill (to satisfy his need for excitement).
Or he may be driving fast to save time (to satisfy his need for urgency)
Or maybe he is driving fast to reach his destination in time (to satisfy his need for punctuality)
The same action may have different motives depending on the need you want to satisfy at that point of time.
This is one simple example, but all your behaviour is governed by your intrinsic motivation to satisfy your needs.
Motivation is a psychological drive that arouses you to act in a certain way to achieve your desired goal which is satisfaction of your needs.
Thus, motivation is the psychological driving force that stimulates goal directed behaviour towards your desired goal.
Remember: Your desired goal is the “satisfaction of your need”.
For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat and satisfies your need for food, or, at a very basic level, your need for survival.
SIXTEEN (16) BASIC NEEDS THAT INFLUENCE HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
According to Professor Steven Reiss there are 16 basic desires or needs that guide nearly all human behaviour.
Here is the list of 16 basic needs that influence your behaviour (in alphabetical order):
1. Acceptance, the need for approval
2. Curiosity, the need to learn
3. Eating, the need for food
4. Family, the need to raise children
5. Honour, the need to be loyal to the traditional values of your country/clan/religion/ethnic group/profession/society
6. Idealism, the need for social justice
7. Independence, the need for individuality
8. Order, the need for organization – for organized, stable, predictable environments
9. Physical activity, the need for exercise
10. Power, the need for influence of will
11. Romance, the need for sex and for beauty
12. Saving, the need to collect
13. Social Contact, the need for friends (peer relationships)
14. Social Status, the need for social standing (importance in society or at the workplace)
15. Tranquility, the need to be safe
16. Vengeance, the need to strike back, to retaliate, to take revenge for perceived injustice
PROCESS OF MOTIVATED BEHAVIOUR
Of course, as you will realize, this list is not all encompassing and there are so many other needs that influence your behaviour.
Some of these “needs” are tangible, and some are intangible.
Why do you behave in the way you do?
You behave in a certain way to satisfy your needs.
FOUR STEP BEHAVIOUR PATTERN
The process of human behaviour can be summarized in four steps:
1. A need is aroused within you
2. You behave in a way to satisfy the need
3. The need is satisfied
4. You relax
HUMAN BEHAVIOUR IS NEED MOTIVATED VALUE DRIVEN SITUATION SPECIFIC
Hence, it is your needs that influence your behaviour.
The way in which you behave to satisfy your needs depends on your values, attitude and mindset at that point of time.
Yes, it is your values and mindset which will influence you to behave in a “certain way” to satisfy your needs in a given situation.
Your behaviour is value-driven and situation-specific.
For example, the need for romance will be satisfied by different persons each in their own unique way depending on their values and the situation.
Some may satisfy their need for romance by indulging in platonic love whereas others may resort to physical sex.
From the moment a need is aroused and till it is satisfied you will be in a state of tension which will “motivate” your behaviour.
Yes, during the period between “need arousal” and “need satisfaction” you will experience a sense of tension, a condition of unrest or uneasiness, which will propel you to behave in a certain way.
Once the need is satisfied you will relax.
Needs can be immediate, short term or long term.
When you cannot satisfy a need you will experience feelings of frustration.
HOW FRUSTRATION AFFECTS YOUR BEHAVIOUR
(ADAPTIVE and MALADAPTIVE RESPONSES)
The degree of your frustration will be related to the magnitude of the unsatisfied need.
Your frustration will affect your behaviour and may cause you to behave in different ways.
You may find a new and acceptable way of reducing or substituting the (unsatisfied) need in order to make it attainable (adaptive response)
Or, you may continue futile efforts to achieve the unattainable need (maladaptive response)
One of the typical maladaptive responses to frustration is aggression.
Another is to go into depression or indulge in negative activities like alcohol addiction.
I have seen many individuals turn to alcohol when their need for success was frustrated.
Reflect on your own behaviour in the past few days (or recall some of your own memorable behavioural fiascoes or those you have witnessed).
Explore the dynamics between needs and behaviour.
Is there a connection between your values and mindset and way you behaved in certain situations?
Your “needs” influence your behaviour
Do you agree?
Please comment and let us know.
Whenever you behave in a certain way, introspect and analyse which need drove you to behave in that way.
Copyright © Vikram Karve
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All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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Updated version of my article first posted on Wednesday, August 21, 2013 by me, Vikram Karve, on my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve (