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The Difference between Needs and Dispositions Essay

Needs and Dispositions are both related to human motivation. Thus there are certain disparities between the two. Needs is defined in the dictionary of Merriam-Webster as something that is necessary and is required for the welfare of a human being. Disposition on the other hand is defined as a preparation, a tendency or a habit that one cannot avoid to do. Both needs and dispositions are based on one’s state of psychological and physiological capacity. However it is also noted that needs is more vital than disposition since it is really necessary for humans like food, shelter and clothing.

Disposition can be considered as a state of mind and too much wanting may motivate someone to live more abundantly regardless if the things that he/she earned is not part of needs anymore (Wagner, 1999). Disposition is also connected to a person’s personality since it takes the side of what is considered necessary even if it is not needed anymore. Humans are motivated by both needs and dispositions. However motivation can be shifted based on some pattern of behaviours and knowledge.

This occurs based on their references and according to their life style, way of thinking and family up bringing (Laming, 2003). There are instances when people are driven by their dispositions to buy things which they think they still need but in fact it is not. Disposition makes one perceive and pay attention to things and act on impulse since they find something or someone to do so (Laming, 2003). Disposition may also be based on impulse unlike needs which is really demanded by the human body to be utilized in order to live.

Our usual explanations for our behaviour do not relate to our true unconscious nature but is based on how we perceive things as either needs or dispositions (Wagner, 1999).


Laming, D. (2003). Understanding Human Motivation: What Makes People Tick? Blackwell Publishing Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary (2008). Meanings of needs and disposition. Retrieved October 11, 2008, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/need Retrieved October 11, 2008, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/disposition Wagner, H. L. (1999). The Psychobiology of Human Motivation. Routledge Publishing

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