Human Wants and their Classification


Human Wants and their Classification

Man is a bundle of desires. His wants are infinite in variety and number. Some wants are natural, for example foods, air, clothing and shelter without which existence of man’s life is not possible. Similarly wants vary from individual to individual and they multiply with civilization.

Characteristics of Human Wants:

  1. Human wants are unlimited: Man’s mind is so made that he never completely satisfied and hence there is no end to human wants. One want is satisfied another want will crop up to take its place and thus it is never ending cycle of want.

  2. Any particular want is satiable: Though the wants are unlimited, but it is possible to satisfy a particular want, provided has the means (resource).

  3. Wants are complementary: It is a common experience that we want things in groups. A single article out of group can not satisfy human wants by it self. It needs other things to complete its use e.g. a motor-car needs petrol and mobile oil it starts working. Thus the relationship between motor-car and petrol is complementary.

  4. Wants are competitive: Some wants competes to other. We all have a limited amount of money at our disposal; therefore we must choose some things and reject the other. E.g. sugar and jaggery, tea and coffee.

  5. Some Wants are both complimentary and competitive: When use of machinery is done the use of labour needs to be reduced. This indicates competitive nature. But to run the machinery the labour is also required and as such it indicates complimentary relationship.

  6. Wants are alternative: There are several ways of satisfying a particular want. If we feel thirsty, we can have water, lassi, in summer while coffee, tea in winter. The final choice depends upon availability of money and the relative prices.

  7. Wants vary with time place and person: Wants are not always the same. It varies with individual to individual. People want different things at different times and in different places.

  8. Wants vary in Urgency and Intensity: All wants are not equally urgent and in tense. Some wants are urgent while some are less urgent.

  9. Wants multiply with civilization: With the advancement the wants multiply. Therefore the wants of people living in urban area are more than the villagers. With civilization the demand for radio, T.V, motor-car etc, are increasing.

  10. Wants are recur: Some wants are recurring in nature, e.g. food we require again and again.

  11. Wants change into habits: If a particular want is regularly satisfied a person becomes used to it and it grows into habit e.g. smoking of cigarate and use of drugs.

  12. Wants are influenced by income, salesmanship and advertisement: It income is higher more wants can be satisfied. Many things we buy of particular brands due to salesmanship or advertisement.

  13. Wants are the result of custom or convention: As a part of custom and convention we buy many thins. Really they are not required but unlikely we have to purchase it e.g. expenses on social ceremonies.

  14. Present wants are more important then future wants: Future is uncertain and hence man is more concerned with the satisfaction of the present wants rather than future wants.

Classification of Wants:

The wants can be classified as under.

  1. Necessaries: These can be sub divided as

  • Necessaries of existence: The things without which we can not exist e.g. water, food, clothing, shelter.

  • Conventional necessaries: The things which we are forced to use by social custom.

  1. Comforts: After satisfying our necessaries we desire to have some comforts. For example table and chair for a student help to increase the efficiency. But cushioned costly chair is not a comfort.

  2. Luxuries: Luxury means superfluous consumption. After getting comforts, man desire luxury. The luxury articles need not required e.g. gold and silver, costly furniture, etc.

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