What Is a Need?


What’s the difference between a want and a need? The difference is that a want is a wish, while a need is an imperative for survival. Needs are often described as physical, psychic, or emotional, and they form the substrate for many disciplines. Psychologists define need as a psychological characteristic that drives an organism to act, give it a sense of purpose, or satisfy an emotional need. Listed below are some examples of human needs.

A need must be satisfied for an individual to be defined as a legitimate need. This judgment of the need is subject to individual preference and may be influenced by societal factors such as resource constraints, cultural norms, and public funding. In some instances, there is an inherent conflict between a person’s need and the actual availability of a service. This ambiguity reflects the complexities of the subject-oriented nature of human needs. It is difficult to determine whether an individual is in need of a health care service unless they know that particular service is available and how it would benefit them.

A need for food also implies that a person wants or needs something. For example, a person may require protein, vitamins, and minerals. To obtain protein, a person can consume meat, nuts, or soy products. Vitamins and minerals can be obtained from fruit, vegetables, yogurt, and cheese. Bread is a source of further vitamins and minerals. But a person’s actual need is not the only reason for eating a balanced diet.

The hierarchy of needs is based on Maslow’s theory of human motivation. It begins with the physiological needs, such as food and water. Increasingly, needs become more complex, including those that relate to the psychological, social, and physical well-being of an individual. Consequently, a person may take actions motivated by a need for security, such as getting a job or buying health insurance. These are only the lower levels of the hierarchy.

In addition to need-based aid, students may be eligible to receive merit-based aid. While merit-based aid remains the most common, it is more difficult to secure, as it requires a high level of excellence. Small private schools, for instance, may receive a higher percentage of merit-based aid. Large public schools receive the majority of financial support from need-based sources. So it’s important to apply for need-based aid as early as possible.