Categories of Needs

Rotter and Hoclireich (1975) listed six broad categories of needs, with each category representing a group of functionally related behaviors: that is, behaviors that lead to the same or shnilar reinforcements. For example, people can meet then recognition needs hi a variety of situations and by many different people. Therefore, they can receive reinforcement for a group of functionally related behaviors, all of which satisfy their need for recognition. The following list is not exhaustive, but it represents most of the important human needs.

Recognition-Status The need to be recognized by others and to achieve status in then eyes is a powerful need for most people. Recognition-status includes the need to excel hi those things that a person regards as important: for example, school, sports, occupation, hobbies, and physical appearance. It also includes the need for socioeconomic status and personal prestige. Playing a good game of bridge is an example of the need for recognition-status.

Dominance The need to control the behavior of others is called dominance. This need includes any set of behaviors directed at gaming power over the lives of friends, family, colleagues, superiors, and subordhiates. Talking colleagues into accepting your ideas is a specific example of dominance.

Independence Independence is the need to be free of the domination of others. It includes those behaviors aimed at gaining the freedom to make decisions, to rely on oneself, and to attahi goals without the help of others. Declining help in repairing a bicycle could demonstrate the need for independence.

Protection-Dependency A set of needs nearly opposite independence are those of protection and dependency. This category includes the needs to be cared for by others, to be protected from frustration and harm, and to satisfy the other need categories. A specific example of protection-dependency is askhig your spouse to stay home from work and take care of you when you are ill.

Love and Affection Most people have strong needs for love and affection: that is, needs for acceptance by others that go beyond recognition and status to include some indications that other people have warm, positive feelings for them. The needs for love and affection include those behaviors ahned toward securing friendly regard, hi-

Feist-Feist: Theories of I V. Learning Theories I 17. Rotter and Mischel: I I ┬ęThe McGraw-Hill

Personality, Sixth Edition Cognitive Social Learning Companies, 2005


Chapter 17 Rotter and Mischel: Cognitive Social Learning Theory 509

terest, and devotion from others. Doing favors for others in anticipation of receivmg verbal expressions of positive regard and gratitude might be an example of this need.

Physical Comfort Physical comfort is perhaps the most basic need because other needs are learned in relation to it. This need includes those behaviors ahned at securing food good health, and physical security. Other needs are learned as an outgrowth of needs for pleasure, physical contact, and well-being. Turning on the ah conditioner or hugging another person are examples of the need for physical comfort.

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