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TOPIC : Basic human needs


Mrs.Diva channu, Ms.Shivani Mehta,
HOD Of CHN Dep., 1st yearM.Sc.Nursing,
M.B.N.C. M.B.N.C.

-Mahatma Gandhi
Every being on this earth has certain basic needs which need to be fulfilled, so are the humans
having such needs.
A basic human need is the want of something or the requirement for biologic, social,
spiritual and psychological functioning experienced by the person without which he cannot
The basic needs approach is one of the major approaches to the measurement
of absolute poverty in developing countries. It attempts to define the absolute minimum
resources necessary for long-term physical well-being, usually in terms of consumption goods.
The poverty line is then defined as the amount of income required to satisfy those needs. The
'basic needs' approach was introduced by the International Labour Organization's World
Employment Conference in 1976. Perhaps the high point of the WEP was the World
Employment Conference of 1976, which proposed the satisfaction of basic human needs as the
overriding objective of national and international development policy. The basic needs
approach to development was endorsed by governments and workers and employers
organizations from all over the world. It influenced the programmes and policies of major
multilateral and bilateral development agencies, and was the precursor to the human
development approach.

A basic human need is the want of something or the requirement for biologic, social,
spiritual and psychological functioning experienced by the person without which a person
cannot survive.


The nine basic human needs are:
1. Security
2. Adventure
3. Freedom
4. Exchange
5. Power
6. Expansion
7. Acceptance
8. Community
9. Expression
Each of us has tree primary needs, meaning three needs that are more important than the older
six needs,which we have to a lesser degree. When people donot get their needs met, they can
become agitated, belligerent or driven to use the negative aspects of their needs. Each of their
needs is described with their positive aspects and their negative aspects. People who share the
same needs will feel a connection or common bond.
security is the need to feel safe, to feel assured that they know what is going to happen, to know
ahead of time what the plans are, what constitutes security can be different from different
Example of how security manifests for different people:
1. Having a lots money in the bank.
2. Having a home and family.
3. Having a dependable car.
Adventure is a need of human in every rush,to have new experiences, to travel, to have big
experiences, to have drama in their life, to have sense of anticipation about upcoming event.
Example of how adventure manifests for different people:
1. Changing partners.
2. Starting a new company or devision.
Freedom is a need of independence and spontaneity. It is also the need to have choices and to
feel in control of making those choices. What constitutes freedom for one person may be very
different from anothers need and perception of freedom.
Example of how freedom manifests for different people:
1. Having choices and making their own choices.
2. Feeling free to move around without restrictions.
3. Making choice about relationship.
Exchange is the need to trade information and knowledge with others, not just to mingle and
socialize, but to deliver and receive something of value.that something of value may be
information, conversation, communication, energy, friendship, services, money, gifts, love
,justice, shared experiences.
Example of how exchange manifests for different people:
1. Participate with others in discussion of all types.
2. Working with others who have a common goal.
3. Staying in touch with society.
People with a need for power need to be in a position of authority and responsibility.. they need
to explore power, leadership and accomplishment to be good organizer and accept
Example of how power manifests for different people:
1. Achieving success.
2. Feeling empowered by helping others.
3. Seeing that justice is done.
4. Organising events, trips, projects
Expansion is the need to build something, to add onto, to create an empire, to expand horizons,
to go where no one has gone before.
Example of how expansion manifests for different people:
1. Building a company.
2. Building a personal and political empire.
3. Creating a personal fortune.
Acceptance is a need to accept yourself and be accepted by others. This includes a feeling of
belonging, people with a need of. Acceptance are usually very easy-going and pleasant to have
in a group.
Example of how acceptance manifests for different people:
1. Participating with situation.
2. Being accepted by neighbours.
3. Being accepted as a valuable member of a family group.
People with a need for community like having people around them. They are highly social and
will express their enjoyment of gatherings. They will seek out people and are able to maintain
large numbers of relationship.
Example of how community manifests for different people:
1. Going to a shopping mall or concert just to be around large groups of people.
2. Being the cook for large family gathering.
Expression is the need to be artistic, to be seen, to be heard, to be felt. It is the need to express
oneself through words, speech, action, dress, art and self creation of all types.
Example of how expression manifests for different people:
1. Expressing through the internet.
2. Writing books, poem, articles.
3. Reading poetry at coffee house.
Basic human needs can be better explained by the Maslows Theory of Hierarchy of Needs.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is a theory in psychology proposed by Abraham Maslow in his
1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" in Psychological Review.[2] Maslow
subsequently extended the idea to include his observations of humans' innate curiosity. His
theories parallel many other theories of human developmental psychology, some of which
focus on describing the stages of growth in humans. Maslow used the terms "physiological",
"safety", "belonging" and "love", "esteem", "self-actualization", and "self-transcendence" to
describe the pattern that human motivations generally move through.
Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid with the largest,
most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom and the need for self-actualization and self-
transcendence at the top.
The most fundamental and basic four layers of the pyramid contain what Maslow called
"deficiency needs" or "d-needs": esteem, friendship and love, security, and physical needs. If
these "deficiency needs" are not met with the exception of the most fundamental
(physiological) need there may not be a physical indication, but the individual will feel
anxious and tense. Maslow's theory suggests that the most basic level of needs must be met
before the individual will strongly desire (or focus motivation upon) the secondary or higher
level needs. Maslow also coined the term "metamotivation" to describe the motivation of
people who go beyond the scope of the basic needs and strive for constant betterment.
The human brain is a complex system and has parallel processes running at the same
time, thus many different motivations from various levels of Maslow's hierarchy can occur at
the same time. Maslow spoke clearly about these levels and their satisfaction in terms such as
"relative", "general", and "primarily". Instead of stating that the individual focuses on a certain
need at any given time, Maslow stated that a certain need "dominates" the human
organism. Thus Maslow acknowledged the likelihood that the different levels of motivation
could occur at any time in the human mind, but he focused on identifying the basic types of
motivation and the order in which they should be met.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is predetermined in order of importance. It is often depicted as a

pyramid consisting of five levels:
1. Physiological
2. Safety
3. Love/belonging
4. Esteem
5. Self-actualization.
Physiological needs:
Physiological needs are the physical requirements for human survival. If these
requirements are not met, the human body cannot function properly and will ultimately fail.
Physiological needs are thought to be the most important; they should be met first. A primary
nursing function as to meet these needs as they are vital to the survival of patieents.
Air, water, food, breathing,sleep,excretion are metabolic requirements for survival in all
animals, including humans. Clothing and shelter provide necessary protection from
the elements. While maintaining an adequate birth rate shapes the intensity of the human sexual
instinct, sexual competition may also shape said instinct.
Safety needs:
Once a person's physiological needs are relatively satisfied, their safety needs take
precedence and dominate behavior. In the absence of physical safety due to war, natural
disaster, family violence, childhood abuse, etc. people may (re-)experience post-traumatic
stress disorder or transgenerational trauma. In the absence of economic safety due to
economic crisis and lack of work opportunities these safety needs manifest themselves in
ways such as a preference for job security, grievance procedures for protecting the individual
from unilateral authority, savings accounts, insurance policies, disability accommodations, etc.
This level is more likely to be found in children as they generally have a greater need to feel
Safety and Security needs include:

Personal security
Financial security
Health and well-being
Safety net against accidents/illness and their adverse impacts
Social/love and belonging:
After physiological and safety needs are fulfilled, the third level of human needs is
interpersonal and involves feelings of belongingness. This need is especially strong in
childhood and it can override the need for safety as witnessed in children who cling to abusive
parents. Deficiencies within this level of Maslow's hierarchy due
to hospitalism, neglect, shunning, ostracism, etc. can adversely affect the individual's ability
to form and maintain emotionally significant relationships in general, such as:

According to Maslow, humans need to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance among their
social groups, regardless whether these groups are large or small. For example, some large
social groups may include clubs, co-workers, religious groups, professional organizations,
sports teams, and gangs. Some examples of small social connections include family members,
intimate partners, mentors, colleagues, and confidants. Humans need to love and be loved
both sexually and non-sexually by others. Many people become susceptible
to loneliness, social anxiety, and clinical depression in the absence of this love or belonging
element. This need for belonging may overcome the physiological and security needs,
depending on the strength of the peer pressure.
All humans have a need to feel respected; this includes the need to have self-esteem and
self-respect. Esteem presents the typical human desire to be accepted and valued by others.
People often engage in a profession or hobby to gain recognition. These activities give the
person a sense of contribution or value. Low self-esteem or an inferiority complex may result
from imbalances during this level in the hierarchy. People with low self-esteem often need
respect from others; they may feel the need to seek fame or glory. However, fame or glory will
not help the person to build their self-esteem until they accept who they are internally.
Psychological imbalances such as depression can hinder the person from obtaining a higher
level of self-esteem or self-respect.
Most people have a need for stable self-respect and self-esteem. Maslow noted two
versions of esteem needs: a "lower" version and a "higher" version. The "lower" version of
esteem is the need for respect from others. This may include a need for status, recognition,
fame, prestige, and attention. The "higher" version manifests itself as the need for self-respect.
For example, the person may have a need for strength, competence, mastery, self-confidence,
independence, and freedom. This "higher" version takes precedence over the "lower" version
because it relies on an inner competence established through experience. Deprivation of these
needs may lead to an inferiority complex, weakness, and helplessness.
Maslow states that while he originally thought the needs of humans had strict guidelines,
the "hierarchies are interrelated rather than sharply separated". This means that esteem and the
subsequent levels are not strictly separated; instead, the levels are closely related.
Main article: Self-actualization
"What a man can be, he must be. This quotation forms the basis of the perceived need for self-
actualization. This level of need refers to what a person's full potential is and the realization of
that potential. Maslow describes this level as the desire to accomplish everything that one can,
to become the most that one can be. Individuals may perceive or focus on this need very
specifically. For example, one individual may have the strong desire to become an ideal parent.
In another, the desire may be expressed athletically. For others, it may be expressed in
paintings, pictures, or inventions. As previously mentioned, Maslow believed that to
understand this level of need, the person must not only achieve the previous needs, but master
them. As mentioned before, in order to reach a clear understanding of this level of need one
must first not only achieve the previous needs, physiological, safety, love and esteem, but
master these needs. Below are maslows descriptions of a self-actualized persons different
needs and personality traits.


Activities of daily living are the activities usually performed in the course of a normal
day in the individuals life such as eating, working, or brushing the teeth. The activites of daily
living are interrelated to enable to human survive. Individuals need help when they are unable
to carry them out themselves because of illness.
The activities of daily living includes:
1. Maintaining safe environment:
It is important to maintain a safe environment at all times. Everyday activities are aimed
at maintaining a safe environment ego activities (such a bathing, bruishing teeth,
cleaning the houses)to achieve personal and domestic cleanliness and aimed at
decreasing the number of micro-organisms to maintain a safe environment.

2. Communication:
communication is the process of exchanging thoughts, ideas, or feelings from one
individual to others. Communicating not only involves the use of verbal language aas
in talking and writing, but also involves the non-verbal transmission of informationby
facial expressions, postures and body gesture. This activity is important for good
interpersonal interaction and human relationships.
3. Breathing:
In the breathing process, the cell of the body receives air, essential for all the body cells,
without which human life will not exist. Breathing is the process that moves air in and
out of the lungs, to allow the diffusion of oxygen and carbon dioxide to and from the
external environment into and out of the blood. "Breathing" sometimes also refers to
the equivalent process using other respiratory organs such as gills in fish
and spiracles in certain arthropods. For organisms with lungs, breathing is also
called pulmonary ventilation, which consists of inhalation (breathing in)
and exhalation (breathing out). Breathing is one part of physiological
respiration required to sustain life. Breathing is used for a number of subsidiary
functions, such as speech, expression of the emotions (e.g. laughing. yawning etc.),
self-maintenance activities (coughing and sneezing etc.) and, in animals that cannot
sweat through the skin, panting.
4. Eating and drinking:
They are essential activities of the daily living. Human life cannot be sustained for all
the body cells, without eating and drinking. Many of the people in the world die daily
due to starvation. Eating (also known as consuming) is the ingestion of food, typically
to provide a heterotrophic organism with energy and to allow for growth. Animals and
other heterotrophs must eat in order to survive carnivores eat other
animals, herbivores eat plants, omnivores consume a mixture of both plant and animal
matter, and detritivores eat detritus. Fungi digest organic matter outside of their bodies
as opposed to animals that digest their food inside their bodies. For humans, eating is
an activity of daily living. Some individuals may limit their amount of nutritional
intake. This may be a result of a lifestyle choice, due to hunger or famine, as part of
a diet or as religious fasting.
5. Eliminating:
Eliminating (bath, urinary and faecal)likes eating and drinking is necessary and on
integral activity of everyday life, eliminating is regard as a highly private activity.
6. Personal cleansing and dressing:
Cleanliness and good grooming are commended in most cultures. Apart of taking pride
in their appearance, people have a social responsibility to enure cleanliness of body and
clothing. Activities included are washing, bathing, care of hair, nails, teeth etc.
7. Controlling body temperature:
The individual able to maintain body temperature of a constant level irrespective of the
degree of heat or cold in the surrounding environment. Regulation of body temperature
is essential for different biological processcess. People have to avoid the hazards &
discomfort of heat & cold by varying the amount of clothing , regulating the amount of
physical activity, etc.
8. Mobilizing:
It is an essential and highly valued human activity. Mobilizing includes the movement
produced by groups of large muscles ( e.g. facial expression & gestures ). All activities
of living involve movement.
9. Expressing sexuality and reproduction:
It is a component of health. The specific activity which is directly associated with sex
is sexual relationship. This is essential for the continuation of human race. Style of
dress , physical appearance , & in many forms of verbal & non verbal communication
are other ways in which sexuality is expressed.
10. Sleeping:
Essential for healthy living.The body process does not stop during sleep.All individual
have periods of activity & is an important activity of daily life.
11. Spirituality:
It is the individuls relationship with the non-materialistic life forse or higher power.
Spirituality may include religion.Religion is often characteristiced by set forms of
worships & codes of conduct.
12. Dying:
Dying is also included in the activities of living.It is the final act of living.
Knowledge of human needs helps nurses to :
1. Understand themselves, so that they can meet their personal needs outside the health care
setting ,
E.g: maintenance of body temperature.
2. Set priorities as in giving care.
E.g.working & playing will assume a low priornality during a period of critical illnss.
3.Better to understand patients behaviour so that they can respond terapeutically rather than
E.g. a patient putting on his signal light repeatedly may convey the message of need for
4. Relieve the distress of patients
E. g. helping a patient to meet his unmet need of love & affection.
5. To get used to all ages & in all health care settings both at health & illness .it is an approach
for holistic nursing care.
6. Help client to develop & grow
E.g Nurse can help clients to move towards self actualization by helping them to find
meaning on their illness experience.
7. Provide a frame work & be applied in the nursing process at the individual & family level.

I like to conclude my topic Basic human today we dealt with Introduction,
definition,nine basic human needs, maslows hierarchy and his need theory,activities
of daily living and nursing implication in daily activity.
Today we learned regarding basic human need that is required to live a comfortable life
without that no human life can survive. And also it affacts in daily activity.
Write about the maslows hierarchy of human need.

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