PNST Foundation 2: Psychological Needs As The Core Motivation

Human desire appears in ever-deepening layers.

On the surface, a person might appear to simply want time and space away from other people, but the driver of that layer might be a fear of rejection and judgement that then masks an even deeper layer of intense desire to be closer to others.

Or maybe this person may appear to be in a hurry and want to push past those in their way, but the driver of this layer might be a desire to get to work faster so they don’t lose their job so they can continue to support their family because they feel an intense familial responsibility to their sick spouse.

There are many, many layers that extend beyond external, present-moment manifestation of a desire and it is the content of PNST that the core of the external manifestation of all desires is a psychological need.

What is a Psychological Need?

The term psychological need, as it is used in PNST, is a perceptual state that a person holds in reference to their own capacity, agency, and relationship with the world. It is an individual’s perception of their ability to influence, and relationship to, their perceivable world.

There are currently ten psychological needs identified in PNST. Here they are in no particular order.

Psychological Need: Safety

The psychological need for the individual to perceive that they will not suffer any undesired mental or physical pain or injury.

Psychological Need: Control

The psychological need for control is the need for the individual ro perceive that they have the ability to manipulate or influence critical elements in their pursuit of the life they desire.

Psychological Need: Power

The psychological need for power is the need for the individual to perceive that they have the ability to overcome challenges and barriers preventing them from creating the life they want (in whatever form that takes).

Psychological Need: Progression

The psychological need of Progression is the need for the individual to perceive that their life has progressed forward.

The psychological need of Progression is similar to the need for achievement that has been extensively studied in other psychological theories but encompasses a broader definition that also encompasses the perceptual state created during achievement.

Psychological Need: Connection

Psychological Need: Significance

Psychological Need: Acceptance

Psychological Need: Inclusion

Psychological Need: Contribution

Psychological Need: Engagement

Is there a needs hierarchy?

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs classified human needs into five broad categories of needs that it believed had to be satisfied in order Physiological Needs (food, air, water, etc…), Safety Needs (security, employment, shelter, etc… ), Love and Belonging Needs (friendship, intimacy, family, etc…), Esteem Needs (respect, status, recognition), and Self-Actualization Needs (the desire to fulfil your highest vision of yourself). This theory is not supported in PNST due to exceptions that violate the rules and thus render them incomplete.

For example, a person on a hunger strike will often allow their Safety Needs to override their Physiological Needs. A person with an eating disorder will allow their Love and Belonging Needs to override their Physiological Needs. A Buddhist Monk will allow their need for Self-Actualization to override their psychological need for sex. These demonstrate that lower-order needs can be overridden by higher-order needs proving that the scale is flawed.

PNST does currently recognise a loose hierarchy of psychological needs, though this requires further testing to establish empirical support.

How much is ‘need satisfaction’ is enough?

The word ‘perception’ is critical to understanding these needs. Each of these ten perceptual states are achievable in gradients, with the only requirement for an individual to perceive that they have fulfilled their core desire being that they have achieved a sufficient depth in that moment. What constitutes a ‘sufficient depth’? Well how the fuck should I know?? I can’t be expected to come up with everything, can I??

Why this is important

It reduces the challenges that each person faces from an infinite number of challenges to simply one of ten challenges.

They don’t have to learn how to