The Three Most Basic Psychological Needs, and Why We Need to Satisfy Them

Posted on June 30, 2015

Cross-cultural research has shown that need satisfaction is necessary for all people’s healthy development, engagement, motivation, and well-being (Gagné et al., 2014). Need satisfaction is even related to greater work performance, less perceived stress, and fewer turnover intentions. Also, when the needs are not satisfied (thwarted), there will be negative psychological consequences (Gagné et al., 2014).

Since these findings have been documented across many cultures and contexts, the theory specifies that people have evolved rather learned the needs. The needs are universal.

Self-determination theory defines autonomy as behaving with a sense of volition, endorsement, willingness, and choice; competence as mastering one’s environment; and relatedness as feeling related to others in one way or another (Gagné & Deci, 2014).

The three basic psychological needs are present and need to be satisfied at all levels of human functioning: at the specific-task level (a given job task), at the domain level (work or family), and at the global level (personality) (Deci & Ryan, 2014).

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Category(s):Happiness, Health Psychology

Source material from Reflectd