Human behavior can be understood as the capacity of mental, physical, emotional, and social activities experienced during the five stages of a human being’s life - prenatal, infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. This also includes the behaviors as dictated by culture, society, values, morals, ethics, and genetics. The behavior of humans (and other organisms or even mechanisms) falls within a range with some behavior being common, some unusual, some acceptable, and some outside acceptable limits. In sociology, behavior in general is characterized as having no meaning, being not directed at other people, and thus is the most basic human action. Behavior in this general sense should not be mistaken with social behavior, which is a more advanced action, as social behavior is behavior specifically directed at other people. The acceptability of behavior depends heavily upon social norms and is regulated by various means of social control. Human behavior is studied by the specialized academic disciplines of psychiatry, psychology, social work, sociology, economics, and anthropology.
We as human beings all have basic fundamental needs in which must be fulfilled to some degree for us to be able to function reasonably well in society, and for our well being and continued growth.
1.) Artur Manfred Max Neef, a Chilean economist and environmentalist known mainly for his human development model based on fundamental human needs classified the fundamental human needs as:
Needs are also defined according to the existential categories of being, having, doing and interacting, and from these dimensions, a 36 cell matrix is developed
Needs are also constant through all human cultures and across historical time periods. What changes over time and between cultures are the strategies by which these needs are satisfied. Human needs can be understood as a system - i.e. they are interrelated and interactive. In this system, there is no hierarchy of needs (apart from the basic need for subsistence or survival) as postulated by Western psychologists such as Maslow, rather, they are simultaneous and complementary.
2.) Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: Psychologist Abraham Maslow identified seven categories of basic needs common to all people. Maslow represented these needs as a hierarchy in the shape of a pyramid. A hierarchy is an arrangement that ranks people or concepts from lowest to highest. According to Maslow, individuals must meet the needs at the lower levels of the pyramid before they can successfully be motivated to tackle the next levels. The lowest four levels represent deficiency needs, and the upper three levels represent growth needs.
Maslow suggested that the first and most basic need people have is the need for survival: their physiological requirements for food, water, and shelter. People must have food to eat, water to drink, and a place to call home before they can think about anything else. If any of these physiological necessities is missing, people are motivated above all else to meet the missing need.
Safety and Security Needs
After their physiological needs have been satisfied, people can work to meet their needs for safety and security. (But the physiological needs must be met first.) Safety is the feeling people get when they know no harm will befall them, physically, mentally, or emotionally; security is the feeling people get when their fears and anxieties are low.
Love and Belongingness Needs
After the physiological needs and the needs for survival and for safety and security have been met, an individual can be motivated to meet the needs represented at higher levels of the pyramid. The third level of the pyramid depicts needs associated with love and belonging. These needs are met through satisfactory relationships— relationships with family members, friends, peers, classmates, teachers, and other people with whom individuals interact. Satisfactory relationships imply acceptance by others. Having satisfied their physiological and security needs, people can venture out and seek relationships from which their need for love and belonging can be met.
Self-Worth and Self-Esteem Needs
Once individuals have satisfactorily met their need for love and belonging, they can begin to develop positive feelings of self-worth and self-esteem, and act to foster pride in their work and in themselves as people. Before they can work toward self-esteem, however, they must feel safe, secure, and part of a group such as a class in school.
The Deficiency Needs
The first four levels of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are essential for a person’s well-being and must be satisfied before the person is motivated to seek experiences that pertain to the upper levels. If a student cannot meet any of these needs, that student will not be motivated to pursue any of the needs in the succeeding levels. Because of this, the first four levels of needs are called deficiency needs. After a deficiency need has been satisfied, a person’s motivation to satisfy it lessens. Fortunately, many students come to school with the deficiency needs of physiology,
safety and security, love and belongingness, and self-esteem already met at home; in peer groups; in church, scouting, athletic, or music groups; in other groups; or in some combination of these. However, some students who come to school are not having these needs met elsewhere and look for ways to satisfy these needs in school.
The Need to Know and Understand
The fifth level of Maslow’s pyramid represents an individual’s need to know and understand. According to Maslow’s hierarchy, this motivation cannot occur until the deficiency needs have been met to the individual’s satisfaction. As you can imagine, the need to know and understand is a primary area of focus for education and is a topic on which we will concentrate. One of our primary jobs as educators is to motivate students so they will want to know and understand.
Aesthetics refers to the quality of being creatively, beautifully, or artistically pleasing; aesthetic needs are the needs to express oneself in pleasing ways. Decorating your living room, wrapping birthday presents attractively, washing and waxing your car, and keeping up with the latest styles in clothing are all ways of expressing your aesthetic sense. People are motivated to meet this need only after the previous five needs have been met.
The Need for Self-Actualization
At the top of the pyramid is the need for self-actualization, which is a person’s desire to become everything he or she is capable of becoming—to realize and use his or her full potential, capacities, and talents. This need can be addressed only when the previous six have been satisfi ed. It is rarely met completely; Maslow (1968) estimated that less than 1% of adults achieve total self-actualization.
The Growth Needs
The upper three levels of the pyramid constitute a person’s growth needs. Growth needs can never be satisfied completely. Contrary to the deficiency needs, for which motivation diminishes when a need is satisfied, as growth needs are met, people’s motivation to meet them increases. The more these needs are satisfied, the more people want to pursue them. For example, the more one comes to understand, the more one’s motivation to learn more increases.
Human Motivation is the driving force that causes the flux from desire to will in life. For example, hunger is a motivation that elicits a desire to eat.
Motivation has been shown to have roots in physiological, behavioral, cognitive, and social areas. Motivation may be rooted in a basic impulse to optimize well-being, minimize physical pain and maximize pleasure. It can also originate from specific physical needs such as eating, sleeping or resting, and sex.
Motivation is an inner drive to behave or act in a certain manner. These inner conditions such as wishes, desires and goals, activate to move in a particular direction in behavior.
1.) Maslow’s-Hierarchy of Needs Theory: This theory was proposed by Abraham Maslow and is based on the assumption that people are motivated by a series of five universal needs. These needs are ranked, according to the order in which they influence human behavior, in hierarchical fashion
Physiological needs are deemed to be the lowest- level needs. These needs include the needs such as food & water .
So long as physiological needs are unsatisfied, they exist as a driving or motivating force in a person’s life. A hungry person has a felt need. This felt need sets up both psychological and physical tensions that manifest themselves in overt behaviors directed at reducing those tensions (getting something to eat). Once the hunger is sated, the tension is reduced, and the need for food ceases to motivate. At this point (assuming that other physiological requirements are also satisfied) the next higher order need becomes the motivating need.
Thus, safety needs — the needs for shelter and security — become the motivators of human behavior. Safety needs include a desire for security, stability, dependency, protection, freedom from fear and anxiety, and a need for structure, order, and law.. In the workplace this needs translates into a need for at least a minimal degree of employment security; the knowledge that we cannot be fired on a whim and that appropriate levels of effort and productivity will ensure continued employment.
Social needs include the need for belongingness and love. Generally, as gregarious creatures, human have a need to belong. In the workplace, this need may be satisfied by an ability to interact with one’s coworkers and perhaps to be able to work collaboratively with these colleagues.
After social needs have been satisfied, ego and esteem needs become the motivating needs. Esteem needs include the desire for self-respect, self-esteem, and the esteem of others. When focused externally, these needs also include the desire for reputation, prestige, status, fame, glory, dominance, recognition, attention, importance, and appreciation.
The highest need in Maslow’s hierarchy is that of self-actualization; the need for self-realization, continuous self-development, and the process of becoming all that a person is capable of becoming.
2.) Alderfer’s Hierarchy of Motivational Needs: Clayton Alderfer reworked Maslow’s Need Hierarchy to align it more closely with empirical research. Alderfer’s theory is called the ERG theory — Existence, Relatedness, and Growth.
Alderfer’s ERG theory differs from Maslow’s Need Hierarchy insofar as ERG theory demonstrates that more than one need may be operative at the same time. ERG theory does not assume a rigid hierarchy where a lower need must be substantially satisfied before one can move on.
Alderfer also deals with frustration-regression. That is, if a higher-order need is frustrated, an individual then seeks to increase the satisfaction of a lower-order need.
According to Maslow an individual would stay at a certain need level until that need was satisfied. ERG theory counters by noting that when a higher- order need level is frustrated the individual’s desire to increase a lower- level need takes place. Inability to satisfy a need for social interaction, for instance, might increase the desire for more money or better working conditions. So frustration can lead to a regression to a lower need.
In summary, ERG theory argues, like Maslow, that satisfied lower- order needs lead to the desire to satisfy higher-order needs; but multiple needs can be operating as motivators at the same time, and frustration in attempting to satisfy a higher- level need can result in regression to a lower- level need.
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