Concepts

Basic needs

What is a basic need about?

Basic needs is a term that refers to those minimum and indispensable needs in the life of a person or living being. These types of needs are a fundamental requirement to be able to achieve the existence of life on the planet in an optimal and safe way.

It is important to note that within the basic needs we can locate endless possibilities, however, we must take into account that, in order to be considered basic, they must be decisive at the time of being able to live a normal life , so without the existence of these, life would be unthinkable.

The basic needs have always been the same throughout the years in the world, however, the way in which they can be fully satisfied has evolved greatly. That is, just as man evolves, the ways of solving conflicts or needs evolve.

Characteristic elements of basic needs

It is important to note that basic needs can be encompassed mainly as human needs. In this sense, these types of needs are intrinsic to human beings, so their satisfaction is required in order to survive.

According to the studies of Manfred Max-Neef , they can be classified into:

  • Have your own identification . Know who it is.
  • Be able to make decisions on your own.
  • Understanding:  includes the possibility of having someone who understands and understands our emotions and decisions.
  • Subsistence: in this case we mention the food that is required to be able to subsist.
  • Affection: this aspect is considered basic and fundamental for the optimal development of the human being.
  • Carrying out activities that express artistic qualities.
  • Participation: refers to the possibility of being able to participate within the social nucleus to which one belongs.
  • Free time for recreation and leisure both alone and with others.
  • Protection:  at this point we can include the home or space to live as well as medical care and the necessary resources for the protection of life.

Examples of needs

Among the basic needs we can find the following:

  1. Biological needs: this type of needs are essential, so they must be covered in their entirety for the existence of human life. Among them we can find: food, health, work, water, housing, family, among others.
  2. Secondary needs: are those that are included within the social sphere. That is, they are essential for the optimal development of the person within the environment where they are. Among them we can find political participation, identity, nationality and freedom.
  3. Sumptuary needs : are those needs that are superfluous. While some regard them as necessities, many others do not. These types of needs include merely decorative or display things or accessories.

Maslow’s pyramid

Abraham Maslow in his 1943 work A Theory of Human Motivation, established a pyramidal model to understand human needs, based on a hierarchical principle that stratifies needs as follows:

  • Physiological needs : Located at the base of the pyramid, they are based on the primary needs of the species: respiration, feeding, reproduction, etc.
  • Security needs : Next step, they entail social protection (physical, social, employment, legal security).
  • Membership needs : Social relationships and intimacy: love, friendship, sexual intimacy.
  • Recognition needs : psychological and individual needs such as personal self-realization, trust, respect, success.
  • Need for self-realization: At the top of the pyramid, it is about moral, spiritual, creative or existential needs.

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