The most basic needs of any person are physiological needs, including food water, oxygen, maintenance of body temperature, and so on. Physiological needs are the most prepotent of all. Perpetually hungry people are motivated to eat—not to make friends or gain self-esteem. They do not see beyond food and as long as this need remains unsatisfied their primary motivation is to obtam something to eat.
In affluent societies, most people satisfy their hunger needs as a matter of course. They usually have enough to eat, so when they say they are hungry, they are really speakmg of appetites, not hunger. A truly hungry person will not be overly particular about taste, smell, temperature, or texture of the food.
Maslow (1970) said: "It is quite true that man lives by bread alone—when there is no bread" (p. 38). When people do not have then physiological needs satisfied they live primarily for those needs and strive constantly to satisfy them. Starving people become preoccupied with food and are willing to do nearly anything to obtam it (Keys, Brozek, Henschel, Mickelsen, & Taylor, 1950).
Physiological needs differ from other needs in at least two important respects. Fhst, they are the only needs that can be completely satisfied or even overly satisfied. People can get enough to eat so that food completely loses its motivational power. For someone who has just finished a large meal, the thought of more food can even have a nauseating effect. A second characteristic peculiar to physiological needs is their recurring nature. After people have eaten, they will eventually become hungry again; they constantly need to replenish their food and water supply; and one breath of air must be followed by another. Other level needs, however, do not constantly recur. For example, people who have at least partially satisfied then love and esteem needs will remam confident that they can continue to satisfy their love and esteem need.
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