Murray’s System of Needs- From a New Years Resolution Perspective

In 1938, Henry Murray published Explorations in Personality, his system describing personality in terms of needs. This meant human nature involved a set of basic needs, with individual differences on these needs leading to the unique sets of personality through varying levels of needs for each. Murray stated each was unique, but had commonalities among each.

In Talent Acquisition, I measure my achievement by being a thought leader with my affiliation in a corporation that sees Talent Branding as playing critical role in it’s futuristic model.

For Murray, individual differences of needs lead to the unique qualities of an individual’s personality. Then, the levels of need come into play. He believed personality can be determined in 4 major determinants:┬áconstitutional, group membership, life role and situational.

A need is defined as, “potentiality or readiness to respond in a certain way under certain given circumstances.” Right this moment, my biggest need is the air I’m breathing to keep me alive long enough to get through this blog to get some food in my belly. OK. Back to writing.Needs are then classified as primary (biological) and secondary (psychological).

Even though Murray determined 17 needs, each can fit into one of five categories: Ambition, Materialism, Power, Affection and Information. While each is important, they can be interrelated. When I look at all of these, I cannot help but think that there is a correlation as to how we set our New Years Resolutions. Below is a list, in my opinion only, that some of you might use:

Ambition- Need: Achievement. To accomplish difficult tasks, overcoming obstacles & becoming an expert

Ambition- Need: Recognition. Describing your accomplishments

Materialism- Need: Acquisition. Obtaining things (duh!)

Defense of Status- Need: Counteraction. To make up for failure by trying again, seeking pridefully to overcome obstacles.

Human Power- Need: Autonomy. To break free from constraints, resisting coercion & dominating authority. To be irresponsible & independent.

Human Power- Need: Avoidance. To avoid being humiliated or embarrassed.

Affection Between People- Need: Affiliation. To be close & loyal to another person, pleasing them & winning their friendship & attention

Affection Between People- Need: Sex. Yup said it. Be safe out there please.

Affection Between People- Need: Play. To have fun, laugh, relax & enjoy oneself.

Exchange of Information- Need: Cognizance. To be curios, ask questions & find answers.

Exchange of Information- Need: Exposition. Delivering information to others.

Happy New Years Everyone!



4 thoughts on “Murray’s System of Needs- From a New Years Resolution Perspective

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    Liked by 1 person

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