Physiological needs are those needs which directly correspond to the demands of the body. They are essentially what human beings need for basic survival: food, air, nutrition, etc. The physiological needs of human beings are quite numerous. They include oxygen, water, protein, salt, energy (i. e. sugar) and various vitamins and minerals. One frequently overlooked human need is the maintenance of a proper pH balance and bodily temperature. It is also necessary to get some exercise, to obtain proper sleep and to excrete bodily waste: expelling carbon dioxide through the respiratory system, and urination and defacation.
The American psychologist Abraham Maslow asserted that these individual needs manifest themselves in some fashion through the psyche. For example, a deficiency in vitamin C, will lead to craving for the very things that provide them, like oranges and other fruits. Other anecdotal evidence includes babies gravitating towards baby food that most would ordinarily consider unpalatable and pregnant women craving for strange-tasting nutritious foods. Psychological needs, on the other hand, are the things that are necessary to a healthy sense of well being and an ability to function normally within society, rather than exist in a biological sense.
Some of these psychological needs are intrinsically linked with physiological needs. For example, the need for security and safety is effectively sated by acquiring a guarantee that their own welfare – food, sexual intimacy, a proper place to sleep – has been provided for. Other psychological needs are measured by their relationship to society, such as obtaining positive regard from their peers to establish self-esteem and a good self-image. There are also psychological needs derived from development – whether in the form of parental guidance or achievement – such as a sense of autonomy and self-reliance. (Boeree, 2007)
What is the relationship between arousal and behavior? Does this relationship impact performance and affect? Arousal happens when changes in the body occur in preparation for behavior that is moderately strenuous, intense or complex. Arousal can manifest on multiple levels. Physiological arousal occurs in the form of changes to the sympathetic nervous system such as increased heart rate, accelerated respiratory functions and increased muscle tension, as well as neurological arousal which manifests when the brain begins to use higher levels of glucose and the flow of oxygen increases in active brain areas.
Yerkes & Dodson (1908) maintain that performance of tasks increases proportionately in relation with physiological or mental arousal. However, this increased performance is limited up to a certain point, as excessive arousal results in decreased performance. With regards to physical tasks, the threshold is higher as higher levels of arousal are necessary to increase the limits of stamina and physical performance. With regards to intellectual or mental tasks, this threshold is lower, as excessive arousal results in decreased ability to concentrate due to the effects of an accelerated physiology.
Arousal also yields a significant impact on affect, either positive or negative. In some cases, increased levels of arousal can increase the pleasantness of an individual’s disposition, but at a certain level, it levels off. Also, states of arousal can be regulated through behavioral decisions made by the individual in the state of arousal. For example, the aroused individual can adjust his or her level of interpersonal intimacy to maintain a manageable level of arousal within a date setting. What are the long-term and short-term effects of stress on the body, brain, and behavior?
Stress can be described as a form of physiological and psychological arousal, however such arousal is contextually specific to situations that are undesirable to the individual, such as those that are perceived to be fraught with risk or implicitly threatening to their physical and psychological well-being. Likewise, the physiological manifestations of stress are much like any other state of arousal – increased heart rate, rapid breathing or increased muscle tension – but the key distinction is how the individual interprets and responds to the circumstances which bring about such arousal.
There is a widespread consensus among psychological circles, both those represented within the pop psychology literature and those represented within academic literature, that long-term stress has adverse effects on individuals. Capri (1996) maintains that repeated exposure to stress effectively magnifies our reactivity to it. Over time, repeated exposure to stress lowers our threshold towards stress inducing events and the responses which are reserved for implicitly threatening situations begin to apply to even the most ordinary stimuli.
This model of stress tolerance explains why individuals who have experienced more problematic or tumultuous situations during earlier stages of personal development, are more easily excitable. In effect, individuals that are able to tolerate greater levels of stress owe their fortitude to their stress history, though how they have dealt with such stress is also an inarguable factor. REFERENCES Boeree, C. G. (2007, January 3) “Abraham Maslow. ”
Personality Theories. Retrieved October 28, 2008 from: http://webspace. ship. edu/cgboer/maslow. html Yerkes, R. M. , & Dodson, J. D. (1908) “The relation of strength of stimulus to rapidity of habit-formation. ” Journal of Comparative Neurology and Psychology, 18, 459-482. Retrieved October 29, 2008 from: http://psychclassics. yorku. ca/Yerkes/Law/ Carpi, J. (1996, January/February) “Stress: It’s Worse Than You Think. ” Psychology Today. Retrieved October 29, 2008 from: http://www. psychologytoday. com/articles/pto-19960101-000027. html