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Need vs. Necessity: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sawaira Riaz || Published on December 13, 2023
'Need' refers to a requirement for something essential or very important, while 'necessity' is the state or fact of being required or indispensable.

Key Differences

A need is a personal or situational requirement for something essential, like needing food for survival, whereas a necessity is more about the indispensable nature of something, as in water being a necessity for life.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023
Needs can vary based on individual circumstances or desires, like needing a good book for entertainment, while necessities are often universal and fundamental, such as the necessity of shelter for protection.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023
The concept of need can be subjective and influenced by personal preferences and situations. In contrast, necessity is more objective, often tied to basic human survival or societal functioning.
Huma Saeed
Dec 13, 2023
Needs can change over time or due to circumstances, like needing more rest during illness. Necessities, however, are consistent requirements, critical for maintaining life or stability, like the necessity for a stable environment.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023
In psychology, needs can encompass emotional and psychological aspects, such as the need for love or belonging. Necessities, however, are typically associated with physical or practical requirements essential for living.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Definition

A requirement for something essential or important
The state or fact of being required or indispensable
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Variability

Can vary based on personal circumstances or desires
Often universal and fundamental
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Subjectivity

More subjective, influenced by personal preferences
More objective, tied to basic survival or societal needs
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Change over Time

Can change with circumstances
Consistently critical for living or stability
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Scope

Can include emotional and psychological aspects
Typically focuses on physical or practical requirements
Janet White
Dec 13, 2023
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Need and Necessity Definitions

Need

A requirement for something essential.
She felt the need to eat healthier.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Necessity

A situation enforcing a particular course of action.
Necessity compelled her to find a second job.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Need

A situation calling for immediate action.
The flood victims are in dire need of aid.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023

Necessity

The fact of being required or indispensable.
Clean water is a basic necessity of life.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Need

An expression of necessity or obligation.
There's a need to improve security.
Janet White
Nov 22, 2023

Necessity

An indispensable thing.
A good education is a necessity for success.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 22, 2023

Need

A state of requiring assistance.
Small businesses are in need of financial support.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 22, 2023

Necessity

Essential character; inevitability.
In business, adaptation is a necessity.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Need

A lack of something desirable or useful.
He has a need for constant approval.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 22, 2023

Necessity

The condition of being unavoidable.
In a crisis, tough decisions become a necessity.
Harlon Moss
Nov 22, 2023

Need

A condition or situation in which something must be supplied in order for a certain condition to be maintained or a desired state to be achieved
Crops in need of water.
A child's need for affection.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Necessity

The condition or quality of being necessary.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Need

Something required or wanted; a requisite
"Those of us who led the charge for these women's issues ... shared a common vision in the needs of women" (Olympia Snowe).
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

Necessity

Something necessary
The necessities of life include food, clothing, and shelter.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 19, 2023

FAQs

Is necessity always related to survival?

Primarily, yes. Necessity often pertains to things essential for survival or fundamental functioning.
Janet White
Dec 13, 2023

How does culture influence need?

Cultural values and norms can significantly influence what individuals perceive as needs.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Can necessity be subjective?

While more objective, some aspects of necessity can be influenced by cultural or societal contexts.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

What is a basic need?

A basic need is something essential for survival, like food, water, and shelter.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Can economic status affect needs?

Yes, economic status can influence the range and nature of an individual's needs.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Are needs constant throughout life?

Needs can evolve and change throughout an individual's life based on age, situation, and personal growth.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

What does necessity mean in legal terms?

In legal terms, necessity refers to a situation where a certain action is unavoidable under the circumstances.
Huma Saeed
Dec 13, 2023

How does one determine what is a necessity?

A necessity is determined by its indispensability for survival, health, or basic functioning.
Janet White
Dec 13, 2023

Can needs be non-physical?

Yes, needs can include psychological and emotional requirements, like the need for love or achievement.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Are all human needs universal?

Some basic needs are universal, but others can vary based on individual differences and circumstances.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

How are needs expressed in behavior?

Needs often drive behavior, leading individuals to seek fulfillment of those needs.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Can needs be created or induced?

Yes, marketing and societal influences can create or amplify perceived needs.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

How does individual perception affect the understanding of needs and necessities?

Individual perception, shaped by personal experiences and cultural background, significantly affects how one understands and prioritizes needs and necessities.
Janet White
Dec 13, 2023

How does poverty impact the perception of necessity?

Poverty can narrow the perception of necessity to focus primarily on survival and basic needs.
Aimie Carlson
Dec 13, 2023

Is education a need or a necessity?

Education can be seen as both a need and a necessity, depending on the context and societal values.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Does technology create new needs?

Yes, technological advancements can lead to the development of new needs and dependencies.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

Can needs and necessities overlap?

Yes, some needs, like the need for food, are also necessities.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

Can societal changes redefine necessities?

Yes, societal changes can lead to a reevaluation of what is considered a necessity.
Sawaira Riaz
Dec 13, 2023

How do needs affect decision-making?

Needs often influence priorities and guide decision-making processes.
Harlon Moss
Dec 13, 2023

How do emergencies affect necessities?

Emergencies can shift focus onto immediate necessities for survival and safety.
Janet White
Dec 13, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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