What Is a Need?


A need is a dissatisfaction that a person feels at a particular point of time or in a particular context. It is different from a want in that the deficiency of a need results in a clear and negative outcome. Deficiency in a need can lead to dysfunction, failure, or even death.

When used in formal sentences, need is used as an auxiliary verb in question expressions, negations, and conditional clauses. It usually follows the main verb, such as can or should, but there is no past tense form. Depending on the context, need may be followed by a present participle or a past participle. However, some speakers omit the to-be part and use the past participle alone. This usage is more common in the British Isles, especially Scotland.

The scientific study of human needs reached its peak in the 1950s. Today, however, it receives much less attention. Richard Sennett, for instance, studied how people respond to respect and a lack thereof. This study suggests that human needs should be rationally identified and considered in everyday life. This approach is similar to Amartya Sen’s capability theory.

In simple terms, a need is a condition or situation where something must be provided to achieve a desired state. For instance, water is a necessity for living things. Another example is a child who needs attention. In a more formal context, a need might involve something as simple as the need for affection.

A need is a basic need that is necessary for survival, whereas a want is an object that enhances a person’s quality of life. Needs include food, shelter, clothing, and medical care. Wants include everything else that enhances quality of life. It’s important to recognize that a need is not always the same as a want, and that the difference between the two can be difficult to discern.

Consumers’ needs and wants change over time. Companies must constantly monitor these changes and respond with innovative ideas and products. Sometimes, this involves modifying an existing product or designing a completely new one. Ultimately, an ideal product will balance needs with wants and satisfy both. The balance between these two is crucial in ensuring a product that delights customers and disrupts competitors.

To receive need-based grant funding, a student must complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). The amount of funding awarded depends on the student’s financial situation, financial need, and income. The award amount may range from a few thousand dollars to a full-tuition grant. Need-based grants are available for nearly every level of study. However, it is important to understand that need-based financial aid is not a guarantee of a college place. Therefore, it is essential to apply early for these programs to get the most funding.

Need-based aid can be difficult to obtain, but it is possible to receive aid if you meet all the requirements. The most important thing to remember is that need-based aid isn’t based on grades or performance. It is entirely based on your financial situation, and your family’s ability to pay for college.