Motivation is what pushes an individual to fulfill certain needs. The needs vary from physiological, esteem, psychological, safety, and even love, among others. Abraham Maslow is responsible for classifying needs into the various categories mentioned above (Maslow, 2000).
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He created a theory in which he placed all these needs in a pyramid depending on the urgency of the need. One is only motivated to pursue the fulfillment of a certain need if the one below it has been satisfied. This essay will analyze the differences between physiological and psychological needs.
Physiological needs are the most basic needs that every human being cannot survive without. They are vital for the survival of every human being. They include; water, food/ ability to satisfy hunger, sleep, shelter, sex (for reproduction), air, sleep and the ability to relieve waste products from the body (Maslow, 2000; Maslow 1999).
Maslow stated that human beings could not exist without the ability to satisfy these needs. Currently, it is argued that education should be added to that list. This is because it is almost impossible to achieve any of the subsequent needs without education.
Psychological needs are also known as secondary needs. Even though they are not vital for the survival of every human being, they are needed for empowerment and individual growth (Maslow, 1999). These needs are infinite; each is specific as to their secondary needs.
These needs can be classified into; ambitious, emotional, materialistic needs, and affection needs. Ambition can be looked at in terms of success, overcoming obstacles, and certain forms of achievement among others. Affection simply refers to the ability to receive love and a sense of belonging. Materialistic needs vary from one individual to another.
It is quite obvious that physiological needs deal with basic external needs. Human beings require all physiological requirements so that they can satisfy their external needs (Maslow, 1999). A typical example, in this case, is clothing that keeps one warm. Human beings require physiological needs to maintain their bodies. However, psychological needs are internal, and they only make one feel fabulous from the inside. They take care of a person’s internal needs, and they also enable them to maintain a healthy mental state.
Physiological needs are also universal as every human being has similar physiological requirements (Maslow; 1999: Maslow, 2000). For example, every human being is expected to sleep. If this does not happen, then the individual is likely to have some health problems. On the other hand, psychological needs are personal. Just as every individual is unique, so are their needs.
For example, while a young person may be inclined towards success, a middle-aged man may be searching for love. These needs also keep changing over the years. Psychological needs are largely dependent on the environment surrounding an individual during their development.
Both physiological and psychological needs are necessary for the proper development of an individual. However, it is impossible for an individual to survive without satisfying their physiological needs. This is because they enable an individual to perform all biological and physical functions necessary for survival.
Psychological needs play a significant role in the proper development of an individual. Without their satisfaction, it is impossible for one to reach the point of self-actualization. However, Abraham Maslow also pointed out that it is possible for an individual to survive without satisfying a certain percentage of these needs.
Maslow, A. (1999). Towards a psychology of being. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Maslow, A. (2000). Motivation and personality (4th Ed). New York: Harper and Row.