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A Theory of Human Motivation


the
hormones, vitamins, etc.
Young in a recent article (21) has summarized the work on appetite in its relation to body
needs. If the body lacks some chemical, the individual will tend to develop a specific
appetite or
partial hunger for that food element.
Thus it seems impossible as well as useless to make any list of fundamental
physiological
needs for they can come to almost any number one might wish, depending on the
degree of
specificity of description. We can not identify all physiological needs as homeostatic.
That
sexual desire, sleepiness, sheer activity and maternal behavior in animals, are
homeostatic,
has not yet been demonstrated. Furthermore, this list would not include the various
sensory
pleasures (tastes, smells, tickling, stroking) which are probably physiological and which
may
become the goals of motivated behavior.
In a previous paper (13) it has been pointed out that these physiological drives or needs
are to
be considered unusual rather than typical because they are isolable, and because they
are
localizable somatically. That is to say, they are relatively independent of each other, of
other
motivations [p. 373] and of the organism as a whole, and secondly, in many cases, it is
possible
to demonstrate a localized, underlying somatic base for the drive. This is true less
generally
than has been thought (exceptions are fatigue, sleepiness, maternal responses) but it is
still
true in the classic instances of hunger, sex, and thirst.
It should be pointed out again that any of the physiological needs and the consummatory
behavior involved with them serve as channels for all sorts of other needs as well. That
is to
say, the person who thinks he is hungry may actually be seeking more for comfort, or
dependence, than for vitamins or proteins. Conversely, it is possible to satisfy the hunger
need
in part by other activities such as drinking water or smoking cigarettes. In other words,
relatively
isolable as these physiological needs are, they are not completely so.
Undoubtedly these physiological needs are the most pre-potent of all needs. What this
means
specifically is, that in the human being who is missing everything in life in an extreme
fashion, it
is most likely that the major motivation would be the physiological needs rather than any
others.
A person who is lacking food, safety, love, and esteem would most probably hunger for
food
more strongly than for anything else.
If all the needs are unsatisfied, and the organism is then dominated by the physiological
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