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Mankind is similar to all other living species...they are all needs driven. Mankind differs from other species in that they have a choice of which needs to pursue and how best to purse them. Decision-making is the means by which humans decide which needs to pursue and by what means and just a important which needs not to pursue. There is never a time when a person is without a need. There are times, however, when the person is unaware of their needs. There is always a plethora of partially unmet needs continually floating in the background of each person's subconscious mind. If a person is not consciously directed, then the subconscious mind is in the driver's seat and steering the direction of one's behavior.
Is there really a distinction between wants and needs? Some people think so. Wants are often defined as lower priority aspirations and "nice to have" (sometimes unrealistic aspirations) whereas needs are often associated with the "must have" or high priority motivators. In this website, no further distinction is made between wants and needs. Both can motivate and drive behavior.
All human actions, activities, and behaviors (often called the means) are an attempt to satisfy either consciously or unconsciously known wants and needs. All behaviors are the means by which people attempt to satisfy their wants and needs or what could be called the ends. The human trait that allows humans to purposefully link the means to the ends is their uniquely endowed conscious. Like other species, humans are also linked between their means and ends via their unconscious mind. The subconscious mind is a wonderful tool for satisfying all our lower level needs. For our higher level needs, we are best served by using our higher powers - the conscious (rational) mind.
The purpose of this web site is to aid the conscious mind in the selection of the best means for attaining whatever wants and needs a person - often referred to as the decision-maker - has chosen as their ends. The higher order ends (wants and needs) are also something that should be deliberately chosen. This website does not attempt to influence the choices of ends, as they are very personal and relate each person between his/herself and their creator.
All one really needs to know about the motivating power of needs is that the highest unmet (wants) needs tends to dominate as the motivation for current behaviors. A sample list of motivators (needs) are shown in the table before. The hierarchy of needs is based on motivation models of Robert Ardrey and A. H. Maslow.
Most people find themselves attempting to fulfill higher-level needs like self-esteem and self-actualization although surrogate, far removed ends. For example, people seek fame, wealth, and achievement, because they believe that doing so will give them what they really want - to feel good about themselves. Rather then getting too far into the psychology of need, the main point will be restated: Like all animals, men and women are likewise needs seeking. Decision-making skills are useful in selecting both the needs to pursue and then in deciding on the most effective, efficient means to satisfy them. Decision-making is the focus of this website.
Website last updated on 10/19/08
Copyright ©2005 Charles W. Sooter. All rights reserved.