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How the humans are driven

Humans are driven by various things. Some will again be jumping on the net to Google everything, instead of thinking. Those who read pop-psychology will be about to lecture me on ‘needs’ which drive people i.e. things like primary (as per Freud) and secondary needs (as per Maslow). I have no argument that people need water and food for their survival.

My problem is that whilst food and water are ‘needs’ for biological sustenance or maintenance, most times that doesn’t explain what drives people when they seek food, or fluids containing water. Not every person who eats food actually ‘needs’ food. How? There are lots of morbidly obese people who could survive well without food for weeks. But they’re still packing it in their faces! I’m about to be told about genetics – I sense it! What – is there a genetic need to stuff faces to the point of morbid obesity? Give me a break! And right there is the problem of people drumming up plausible explanations, having read a load of junk in popular media – which unbeknownst to them, brainwashes them.

Confused mess of mechanisms

Not everybody who consumes drinks containing water actually needs water.  In fact, people consume drinks – with water – that would actually dehydrate them. Oh? Yes. Coffee and tea contain water but due to their diuretic effect,  consumption could actually leave a person 1 to 2% dehydrated at the end of a day. Loads of people actually drink tea and coffee for other reasons. What drives them to do this? That’s what I’m trying to get at. Maybe people just want a bit of a chat over a cup of tea. They’re not consuming tea or coffee (containing water I emphasise) because they’re thirsty. Something else may be driving them. Maybe A wants to shag B, so the coffee is just there to get the business going. So sex drive may be driving the consumption of those caffeinated beverages. Or maybe A just wants companionship. Or maybe A just wants to share a problem or have a rant about something at work. Or maybe A is just a coffee-addict. Or maybe A just wants to be warmed up in a warm café with a fav hot drink.

BTW alcoholic beverages contain water – hey ho! So that’s a ‘good reason’ to booze up right there! Yuh know, “I need my water – don’t I?” Oh puhleeese! The point is that ‘people’ have simply accepted theory about why people consume life sustaining things like food and water. What people want is not necessarily what they need.

Does everybody ‘need’ sex? I don’t think so! Most sexual activity amongst humans is not with the intention of procreation – and I’m not giving a list on what else it is about. The human race definitely needs sexual activity for the species to continue. But that doesn’t mean that individuals need sexual activity. What about various kinds of sexual activity that cannot possibly create babies? No lists today!

There is a big debate out there about whether needs lead to drives or vice versa. That sort of debate is based on mechanisms. So – I’m getting out of that debate. I just want to focus on drives. It’s this simple: I leave aside what you might feel you need, and ask, ‘What drives you?‘. If you are driven by ‘whatever’ number of things to have a coffee with somebody, the drive may come from several things. I don’t care what combination or what is at the heart of it. You don’t need coffee to remain alive – and yes I know all the memes about that – thank you very much!. You may want it and you a driven by something(s) to seek it. As I said and say again, I don’t care if you call that a need, want or wha’everrrr. I’m not interested in ‘mechanism’.

The traditional literature has taken ‘biological’ and ‘social’ to be ‘psychological’. I’m not saying that food which is a biological need, does not create a psychological drive we call hunger. That’s pretty obvious. You might be driven to eat at midday cuz folk in the 1600s created a rule that ‘everybody’ had to eat 3 times per day. Whether you know about any of that, it matters not. You have come to be programmed by a culture to be driven to eat at midday, so the ‘hunger’ you feel has a social dimension that you may be totally unaware of.

[I’ve been intruded upon while writing this blog by that impish figure in the back of my mind. It’s so difficult to write my blogs these days!]


The infographic is how I sum it all up. Did I say that everything is neatly compartmentalised in there? I did NOT! Why did I not go into needs-theory? Because it’s a confused mess and I’ve already said why I’m not going there! Chyrsst!

What people feel is a drive or an urge. So I just call those things drivers. Drivers can come from various things – some of which may be primary needs (if people which to play with that).

The big issue is ‘words’ and what ‘people’ think they mean. Some will say “I’m still not convinced that needs are different to drives.” Did I say I am here to convince anybody about such a difference? I did NOT! If you need more focus on the topic over here. I am struggling to say something because of the intrusions in the back of my mind. I don’t care what underlies or contributes to the drive that is felt. You want to have coffee with X? You could analyse that all different ways and come up with 500 ‘needs’ if you want.

.. oh dear God.. here we go..

Stupid: Who are you to tell people what they need?! You’re arrogant as usual!

CW: I’m not telling people what they need. Caution – you’ve been let out on a tight leash.

Stupid: So you’re saying people don’t need coffee – how dare you?

CW: Ridiculous! I said no such thing. What I said was that people may feel a need for a coffee with someone but that sense of need may be driven by loads of other things. I said you don’t need coffee to remain alive.

Stupid:  You’ve confused everybody by trying to separate ‘needs’ from drives.

CW: I actually said that I was avoiding such a debate.

Stupid: I’m still not convinced that needs are different to drives.

CW: I couldn’t care less. I’m not here to convince anybody. Least of all, you! What I said is that drives can come from any set of perceived ‘needs’.

Stupid: I’m confused.

CW: Nothing to do with me. You are free to confuse yourself. I’m not concerned if needs are different to drives. You could also call needs ‘drives’, if you wished.


Stupid: So what’s different about what you are saying?

CW: I’m focusing on drives in a bio-psychosocial model.  What might drive someone to feel they ‘need’ a coffee may well come from several domains containing other things, as I showed in the diagram.

Stupid: Ahhhh… I think I’m getting it now.

CW: Hmmm.. you exceeded yourself on this occasion. Now is a time for you to get back into your box, before you start spewing more rubbish! Off you pop.

Disclaimer & Guidance

The reading of posts on this blog is subject to the Terms & Conditions. Unpalatable truths and personal experiences may be told. Nothing posted on this blog is directed at any identified person. On occasions individuals are quoted anonymously. That does not mean that they have been identified to the world. Should any person or organisation reading this blog find something that makes them feel or know that they  are being referred to – any such perceived identification does not mean ‘identified to the world’. ‘Stupid‘ is an impish figment of my imagination who occasionally is allowed to pop up – and does not represent any known individual, individuals or groups. The treatment of  ‘Stupid‘ is not representative of the way people are treated in real life. Adverse inferences made are dismissed in advance.  

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