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The well being of individuals is determined by a number of factors. Through research, experiments, and tests, scientists have been able to determine the key factors that are essential in ensuring that individuals live in an efficient manner. Some of the factors that scientists have identified include physiological and psychological needs, arousal and behavior, and most importantly, the stress and the impacts that it has on the body, brain, and the overall behavior of individuals. Due to this fact therefore, this paper will determine the differences between the physiological and psychological needs, the relationship that exists between arousal and behavior, and the effects of stress on individuals.
Difference between Physiological and Psychological Needs
Humans always require basic external needs to ensure that their bodies are well maintained (DiLalla, 2002). It is these basic external needs that are referred to as the physiological needs. Physiological needs are essential in sustaining the lives of individuals because they ensure the well being of an individual in the short run and in the long run. According to DiLalla (2002), the basic needs of every human being across the world are universal. Every individual in this world requires food to provide the energy that is required for growth and development. Lack of food usually results to malnourishment and in severe cases, it might lead to the death of an individual. Consequently, every individual requires shelter to protect him/herself from the extremes of nature. Finally, clothing in an essential requirement, especially in the modern world. Despite the fact that clothes hide our nakedness, they are also essential in proving warmth and protection from physical injuries. Sexual reproduction is also a physiological need in humans that enables them to ensure the survival of the human race in the world.
Psychological needs on the other hand refer to the need of connecting with each other that is present in human beings and many other social animals. It is as a result of this need that individuals develop the desire to touch one another, interact socially, and to develop intimate relationships that are based on love such as family ties, marriages, and friendship (DiLalla, 2002). Individuals also have the inherent feeling of progressing in their lives. This feeling motivates them to work harder in different ways in order to be better individuals. According to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs model, an individual will advance up the hierarchy by first achieving his/basic needs in the process of self actualization (DiLalla, 2002).
Relationship between Arousal and Behavior
In an individual, the interaction between the internal and external stimuli results in arousal (Goodman, 1997). The resultant energy that comes about from this interaction acts in an individual to satisfy his/her her internal and external motives. Arousal might result in an increase in the tension of the muscles within the body of an individual, increased sweating (body and palms), and in some cases, the rate of the heartbeat as well as the rate of breathing might increase. Given its nature therefore, arousal has different effects on the behavior of an individual. Arousal might make an individual to be anxious. In the process, the performance of an individual is enhanced or reduced.
On the other hand however, arousal might result in the development of a fearful behavior. In such an incidence, the performance of an individual might increase or decline as a result of the immense fear that is within an individual. Therefore, arousal enhances the performance of an individual. However, when an individual cannot handle the level of anxiety, his/her performance will decline. According to Hull’s drive theory, high levels of arousal are only effective in increasing the performance of an individual if the task at hand is difficult. However, the performance of an individual will be high with regards to difficult tasks if the level of arousal is low.
Effects of Stress
Given the challenges that are present in life, we are bound to develop stress in the process of trying to overcome them. Therefore, there are individuals who regard stress as a positive element in their lives since it motivates them to work harder to achieve specific goals and objectives. In most cases, stress is considered as a negative factor that affects the physical and psychological well being of an individual hence reducing their performance. Thus, when an individual is stressed, the symptoms can be manifested in their body, mind, and behavior (Raine, 1990).
The condition that arises in an individual as a result of high levels of arousal is referred to as distress. Symptoms of this condition include negative attitude, specific medical conditions such as hypertension, and unproductive behavior. On the other hand, eustress is a condition that arises when the arousal levels in an individual are at an optimum level thus enhancing the physical and mental wellness of an individual. From the studies that have been conducted, it has been identified that various internal or external stimuli can result in stress (Raine, 1990). Thus, people should develop coping strategies that enhance their behavior in the short run and their physical and mental being in the long run.
In this paper, it has been identified that humans have physical and psychological needs. In the process of trying to achieve these needs, their performance will be determined by their levels of arousal which in turn affect their behaviors. However, when an individual faces challenges while trying to achieve his/her physiological and psychological needs, he/she may develop stress. It is thus essential for an individual to develop coping strategies that will ensure that he/she overcomes the stress and the challenges that he/she might be facing in life.
DiLalla, L. F. (2002). Behavior genetics of aggression in children: Review and future directions. Developmental Review, 22(1), 593–622.
Goodman, R. (1997). The strengths and difficulties questionnaire: a research note. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 38(5), 581–586.
Raine, A. (1990). Relationships between central and autonomic measures of arousal at age 15 years and criminality at age 24 years. Archives of General Psychiatry, 47(2), 1003–1007.