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Essay on human needs and motivation

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This essay will be discussing what is human needs , it will explore by looking into human needs and how human needs can impact on human wellbeing either positively or negatively, it will highlight government effort in meeting its people needs, the essay will be guided and directed by references from Gough & Doyle, Frank Field and some other researcher in human psychology and social welfare. In this regard, my discussion will focus on the United Kingdom context and comparing with some underdeveloped countries. It will summarize by some suggestion on the different between needs and wants.

In 1943, Abraham Maslow’s article (A theory of Human Motivation).States that human needs cannot be satisfied and that lower needs are needs to be address before higher needs.These needs were dubbed “deficiency needs.” While a person is motivated to fulfil these basal desires, they continue to move toward growth, and eventually self-actualization.

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Gough & Harris 1986) noted that ,unsatisfied needs can cause serious harm Doyal & Gough 1991-)highlighted in their matrix of human needs which consist of:

  1. Universal Goal.
  2. Basic need.
  3. Intermediate need.
  4. Societal precondition for needs satisfaction.

They group these characteristic in eleven categories: adequate nutritional food and water, adequate protective housing, non hazardous work and physical environment, appropiate health care, security in childhood, significant primary relationship, physical and economic security, safe birth control and child bearing, and appropriate cross cultural education, nine of this apply to all people needs, whereas ,One of these refer to According to (Doyal & Gough 1991) in (The theory of human needs) . Needs refer implicitly if not explicitly to a particular categories of goal which are believed to be universal sable, whereas want are goals which derive from an individual preferences and cultural environment.

Doyal & Gough highlighted nine of their matrix of human needs as all people needs, however, the child security and welfare, and the specific need for women in child bearing are also specific and important need. Needs have hierarchy that start with the basic need to hierarchy top of need, needs are interwoven and inter chained. The other nine of Doyal & Gough matrix of human need , for example, nutritional food and water, housing, health care, education, child bearing and security in childhood are all human basic needs which are provided by the social welfare system. Gough & Harris noted that if some basic need are not met , this will lead to some serious harm, for example lack of food and water can lead to hunger and illness, lack of housing leads to homelessness , safety vulnerability, and hopelessness, children in these situation will lack education, live and grow in poverty and become poor adults.

Frank Field (2010) in his ( Poverty and Life Chances) said that poverty is more than lack of money , and further says how poverty can effect children to adulthood as a result of poverty experience by their parent. According to Frank Field (2010). In trying to tackle child poverty,the government reviewed the past three decades Child Poverty Action Group plan, and subsequentlythe recommendations that follow was the 2010 Child Poverty Act . The Review reflects how the ideas on combating poverty have developed . The Review proposes that the country’s efforts to make the life chances of all children more equal should be brought to bear through whatFrank Field called the Foundation Years.

The 2010 Act was a welcomed initiatives of the last Labour Government. The press reported that when the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, announced in March 1999 that the Government’s goal was the abolition of child poverty by 2020, his audience at Toynbee Hall was taken by surprise. A surprise it may have been, but the speech gave form and direction to the Government’s anti-child poverty strategy. The announcement instantly transformed the ranking on the political agenda of the issue of poverty in a rich society. How best to abolish child poverty became a topic of high political importance – a ranking that it had not held since the Attlee Government. Few other post war political initiatives have had such an enduring impact on the political debate and on policy. This heightened political importance of countering child poverty was thankfully matched by action. Frank Field (2010).

The developed world like the UK, USA, and many other developed countries have over a long period of time being investing on

  • social services,
  • education,
  • housing,
  • health care,

although the benefits of these decades of Government budgeting and initiatives towards meeting its people needs are less felt by the populace because of

  • population increase,
  • high volume of migrant migration,
  • increased child birth,
  • unemployment,
  • inflation,
  • worldwide economic crisis,
  • increased dependent on social welfare services.

Even though people are still complaining of government not meeting their obligation owed to her people, people in the developed world are much more better off in terms of the welfare services available to them, it is mandatory for parents to take their children to school in the UK, there are other social welfare services entitlements which even though not enough, but it still help in reducing hunger and homelessness.

Can national social policy in an era of globalisation serve either the interest of capitals or the need of the people, Field answer to the question is (NO) he said that the need of capital and the need of the people are irreconcilably opposed and there little or nothing the welfare state can do about it in today’s world. Frank Field (2010)

In the developing world. It is the opposite, people have to fend for themselves without no government social welfare service , no government health care service, education is for those who can afford it, it is pathetic, but people are used to not relying on government service, which is not even in existence, rather the people has a nuclear family way of helping each other. Where the entire members of the family contributes and help any of the family members who is in need, be it lacking food, illness, unemployment and educating the younger one within the nuclear family.

This essay has discussed what is human needs and how they interlink to the human existence, it has briefly discuss the UK Government initiatives towards enhanced social welfare services that met the people needs, it summarise by comparing the developed world social welfare services and the undeveloped world non social welfare situation.


  1. Doyal & Gough (1991) Matrix of Human Needs: The of capital and the need of people: can the welfare state reconcile the two Recommended reading literature journal.
  2. Frank Field ( 2010) Foundation Years: Preventing poor children becoming poor adults: In the report of the independent review on poverty and life chances. HM Government- London.
  3. Gough & Harris (1986) Capitalism and Welfare: In The of capital and the need of people: can the welfare state reconcile the two Recommended reading literature journal.
  4. Maslow Abraham (1943). Hierarchy of needs:A Theory of Human Motivation: In Towards a Psychology of being. Psychology Review. www.cochranelibrary/psychologyjournal.htm
Essay on human needs and motivation essay

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