The concept of need: their types and classification

In the global economy, there is a concept of need, which is very important for understanding the market and its conquest. It would seem that everything is quite simple, and you just need to know what a person wants. But in reality, everything is not as simple as it might seem at first glance.

The fact is that needs can be very diverse, they can even be subconscious, so each of them needs to look for its own approach. It is for this that economists spent a lot of time throughout the history of modernity studying what constitutes the concept of need, how such a need is expressed and what it can be.

What is a need?

concept of need

The concept of need at first glance may seem quite simple, because it means, in principle, what a particular person needs at a certain point in time. But in fact, everything is much deeper, especially if you look at this concept from an economic point of view.

In economics, needs are called internal motives on which the entire system of modern production is based. It is at the expense of needs that a connection is established between the buyer who needs a certain product, a specific service, and the manufacturer who must provide it.

In fact, the concept of need is indispensable in the system of socio-economic relations in any market. Need is not just something that a person needs, it is a certain product or service that he needs depending on his living conditions, on social relations and so on.

Simply put, this is a personโ€™s attitude to his living conditions, which can be characterized by a desire to get any item, any service in order to experience a sense of satisfaction from it and improve any aspect of his life.

Classifications of needs

human need concept

The concept of human needs in the economy has been described for a long time, but the definition is only a common text, affecting only the tip of the iceberg. If you delve into the study of human needs, then it is worth highlighting their various types. It is simply impossible to do this spontaneously - the fact is that there can be many types of needs . And depending on what angle you look at them, their number may increase, and they may intersect and overlap.

That is why the classification system of needs was introduced. A lot of different groups have been identified over the entire economic history, however, there are some of them that are considered basic and are generally accepted. It is about them that we will discuss later.

By subjects

need activity concepts

The concepts of activity, human needs are tightly intertwined, because it is through the activity that needs are satisfied. Some of them can be satisfied independently, others are satisfied by other people who produce the goods you need or provide the service you need.

However, this view can be called rather one-sided, because in most cases people, when they are asked about needs, try on everything for themselves and talk about what one person needs. But if you look at the classification by subject, then you will quickly realize that everything is not as simple as it might seem.

Yes, there are individual needs, that is, those that one person experiences that relate only to him. However, there is, for example, collective needs โ€” what a group of people needs. For example, the work team needs good leadership, a favorable working atmosphere, and so on. There is also an even more global level - social needs, that is, what society as a whole needs. This may be an increase in living standards, lower prices, the absence of military conflicts and so on.

However, the classification by subjects has another large group, which includes enterprises, farms, and even entire states. They also experience economic needs, which can be very diverse. The company is seeking recognition in the global market, wants to increase profits, reduce staff turnover. The state wants to establish foreign economic relations, increase budget revenues.

This is how versatile the concept of need can be. Satisfying all this does not happen instantly - you always need to find those who want to satisfy your needs, regardless of whether you are an individual person or the whole state apparatus.

By objects

concept of need satisfaction

The concept of โ€œneedโ€ is extremely versatile, and therefore it has the most diverse classifications. If we talk about the classification of objects, it is immediately worth noting that in this case, the needs are divided into pairs. So the first pair is physiological / social needs. The first includes those that a person needs to continue his existence, that is, food, water, clothing, a roof over his head and so on. As for the social, they are not so important, but they are also incredibly necessary and become much more relevant when physiological needs are satisfied. These include a thirst for communication, socialization, the need to receive new information, stay up to date with events, and so on.

The second pair is material / spiritual. The first part is material wealth, various goods and services, while the second is creativity, personal growth, and self-improvement.

It is also worth highlighting a couple of priority and non-priority needs. If you purchase essential goods or services that you need in the first place and without which it is impossible, difficult or extremely uncomfortable to continue to exist, then they belong to the first group. If these are not so important goods and services that are acquired on a whim, then they belong to the second group.

Maslow Pyramid

definition of need

Even if you did not know the definition of the concept of โ€œneedโ€ in economic terms, then most likely you have at least heard what the Maslow Pyramid is. This is the world famous pyramid of needs, compiled by the famous American psychologist Abraham Maslow. Strictly speaking, this is a visual representation of the hierarchy of human needs.

The basis of the pyramid is physiological needs, followed by security and protection, higher are followed by social, then - the need for respect. Well, the top of the pyramid is self-realization.

The principle of the pyramid is as follows: it is human nature to experience the need for something from each level in ascending order. This means that at first a person satisfies physiological needs, then provides himself with safety and protection, and so on.

Thus, if a person has not satisfied physiological needs, he will not want to satisfy social ones, and when he does not have reliable protection, he will not think about self-realization. Maslow's pyramid most clearly indicates the basic needs. The concept of them in this classification is recognized throughout the world.

By degree of implementation

the concept of need is

Another type of classification is by degree of implementation. Here the needs are divided according to the principle of how and when a person can realize them. For example, there are real needs that can be realized at the current level of development of society, and there are absolute needs - they arise from the further development of society, motivating it to progress.

It is also worth noting the solvent needs, which can be met only with a certain level of income and the availability of funds.

The law of increasing needs

basic needs concept

You canโ€™t talk about needs and not remember about this law. Its essence lies in the fact that the needs of man and society are constantly changing, increasing, new ones appear, which are determined by further progress and development. This law is closely related to the Maslow pyramid - a person has needs of a higher order when he satisfies the needs of a lower order.

Twentieth Century Needs Development

The law of increasing needs can be described by the example of the development of society in the twentieth century. In the first half of the century, material and material needs were dominant. Starting from the fifties, social needs, such as education, medicine, sports, entertainment, and so on, began to dominate. And from the eighties, people reached a new level, since the needs of the previous two orders could be met without problems. Therefore, there was a desire to develop and grow as a person.


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