A need is a fundamental requirement for the well-being, survival, and fulfillment of individuals or groups. It is something that cannot be met without the presence of another — for example, water for crops or love for children.
The concept of need is often used as an economic model to guide social policies and programs, such as food aid or health care. A person’s ability to afford to meet their needs determines their level of economic well-being, which is an important factor in the development of countries.
People have a variety of personal needs that include food, shelter, love, attention, self-esteem, and more. It is important to recognize and understand these needs to make informed choices about one’s life. For example, a person’s need for attention can be fulfilled by engaging in activities that stimulate creativity and self-expression, such as painting or writing.
A person’s need for love can be satisfied by establishing close relationships with others. It can also be fulfilled by engaging in healthy behaviors, such as exercising and consuming adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables.
Many of these needs are met through community services and programs, such as housing assistance and child care. Individuals can also fulfill their own needs by working on personal projects or volunteering to support their communities.
Psychologists have a long history of researching the concept of need. While the academic study of need reached its zenith in the 1950s, the idea is still important today, especially as it relates to the human condition. In addition, the concept of need is a useful framework for understanding how an individual interacts with their surroundings.
The differences between need and want are subtle, but important. A need is a fundamental requirement for the survival or fulfillment of individuals or groups, while a want is a desire for something that can be achieved with existing resources or by acquiring more. Those who are unable to satisfy their needs will find it difficult or impossible to function in society.
In the United States, most college students receive merit-based and need-based financial aid to help them pay for tuition and other education expenses. Merit-based scholarships are based on a student’s academic achievements, while need-based awards are determined by a family’s financial status and household income. The federal Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is required to apply for both types of financial aid.
In the past, some psychologists have criticized the concept of need, arguing that it is culturally dependent and subjective. In addition, it is challenging to define what constitutes a need because needs vary greatly among cultures and even within the same culture. A more recent view of the concept of need is outlined in Doyal and Gough’s Theory of Needs, which argues that every person has the right to pursue their vision of what it means to be human and that this endeavor requires a basic level of physical health and cognitive skills.