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February 1964

Security as a Motivation of Human Behavior

Author Affiliations


Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1964;10(2):105-108. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1964.01720200001001

From the earliest knowledge of man and his behavior, evidence suggests an inherent need within him for predictability and control of his environment. Anthropologists and biologists point out that man is physically poorly adapted for survival in a hostile environment as compared to many other species in the evolutionary scale. Yet, one of the unique characteristics of man which has been the means of his continued survival and ascendancy over other animals, is his ability to remember vast amounts of past perceptions and associations and utilize these in processes of comparison and deduction to cope with new situations. Thus, man's survival has depended not on his biological adaptation to the environment but rather modifying his immediate environment to conditions permitting his survival. His existence is dependent on his controlling the immediate environment within relatively narrow ranges. In order to do this, he

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