Human Needs

  • Hildegard E. Peplau


The function of personality is to grow and and to develop. Nursing is a process that seeks to facilitate development of personality by aiding individuals to use those compelling forces and experiences that influence personality in ways that ensure maximum productivity. Nurses are assistants and helpers, rather than manipulators of people; they seek to aid individuals and communities in providing and using suitable conditions that will meet their needs. Everyone has needs that are instinctual ones or that have been acquired in the process of socialization. Primary or acquired needs that are met in one situation, in some degree, arise again in new situations. In each situation that an individual finds himself needs arise; when needs that are uppermost are met the tension they create subsides until other needs are activated. The purpose of this chapter is to aid in identification of needs that arise in nursing situations, to clarify how they affect the setting and achieving of goals in interpersonal relations.


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    Sullivan, op. cit., p. 6.Google Scholar
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    Symonds, op. cit., p. 12.Google Scholar
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    W. I. Thomas, The Unadjusted Girl (New York, Little, Brown & Company, 1925), pp. 1–40.Google Scholar
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    William Healy, Personality in Formation and Action (New York, W. M. Norton & Co., Inc., 1938), p. 78.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 43.Google Scholar
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    Iago Galdston, “On the Etiology of Depersonalization,” Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 105:25–39 (January, 1947). Suggests that when infantile satisfactions are not realized in the adult framework depersonalization results; the explanation lies in the dynamics of personalization, or ego-formation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Ralph Linton, The Cultural Background of Personality (New York, Appleton-Century-Crofts, Inc., 1945). See particularly chapters on “Personality” and “The Role of Culture in Personality Formation”; these two chapters elaborate a theory of motivation based on needs, particularly the need for “emotional response from other individuals.”Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hildegard E. Peplau 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hildegard E. Peplau
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers, The State University of New JerseyUSA

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