NeedHumans are born with emotional and physical needs that must regularly be satisfied to avoid pain and decline. For example, the need to eat or to be safe.
InstinctHumans have instincts and are able to override these with higher level thought processes. For example, a person may feel a strong urge to flee from danger but may override this to face the danger where it makes sense.
SelfHumans have a sense of self such that they defend what they view as their self interests and have a sense of self-esteem and self-importance.
RelatednessA desire to be connected and to interact with other people.
MotivationHumans have desires known as motivation that are amazingly diverse as compared to animal instincts such as the drive to find food.
EmotionEmotions are mental states that color all thought for a period of time.
Empathy & SympathyEmpathy is the ability to share emotions and sympathy is the ability to recognize emotions and react appropriately.
ImaginationThe ability to think in ways that differ from concrete reality.
CreativityThe ability to produce things from the imagination such as designs or new concepts.
ArtThe unconstrained pursuit of expression.
AestheticsThe ability to feel that elements of the world are beautiful or otherwise appealing.
PlayPlay is the drive to find joy and fun in the world.
CompetitionHumans appear to be competitive and may seek to create competition with sports, games, challenges and similar pursuits.
Social ComparisonPeople commonly compare themselves to other people.
Social StatusThe desire for respect and recognition from others.
GrowthThe drive to grow, explore and improve.
ProductivityThe drive to create and produce.
Rational ThoughtThe ability to consider evidence in a systematic way to form opinions.
DisciplineDiscipline is the ability to transcend motivation to do what is required in a situation. For example, the discipline to wake early in the morning to train when your motivation is telling you to sleep late.
IntrospectionIntrospection is the ability to examine your own character, thinking, emotions and behavior to self-improve.
MemoryAn ability to remember information for a lifetime. Human memories are often fuzzy and surrounded in emotion such as nostalgia.
IntuitionIntuition are opinions and feelings that are formulated with processes that are unknown to your conscious mind. Plato and Socrates viewed this in mystical terms as a connection to an eternal force. Modern theories view intuition as unconscious knowledge and unconscious cognition although this isn't well understood.
KnowledgeThe ability to try to understand things and to share this information.
LanguageHumans think and communicate with language.
CommunicationPeople try to communicate with each other.
ConceptsHumans can think in ways that differ from concrete reality. In fact, all languages have a large number of concepts that have no direct physical equivalent.
TechnologyA knack for making useful tools.
Society, Culture & TraditionHumans demonstrate complex social behavior with an ability to develop shared systems, rules, celebrations and meaning.
ExperimentsPeople are curious and try things to discover new knowledge. This can be seen in babies who commonly perform experiments to investigate cause and effect such as intentionally knocking something over.risk to pursue opportunity.
FailureHuman beings aren't infallible such that they often fail, make mistakes and misjudge things.
StrengthsHumans are highly capable and well adapted to life on Planet Earth. For example, humans have a large number of social capabilities such that they can cooperate in large groups in a highly organized way.
ResilienceHumans can learn from failures, stresses and risk taking to become stronger.
WeaknessHumans often lack capabilities that would be advantageous to their life. These can be physical or cognitive. For example, individuals commonly have character weaknesses. Each individual has a unique set of strengths and weaknesses.
TacticsThe ability to identify actions that may achieve a short term advantage.
StrategyAn ability to think out a series of actions that will achieve a goal in the long term. Humans have significant capacity for strategic thinking.
ControlPeople commonly seek to control their environment. They may also seek to exert control or influence over each other.
FreedomPeople seek freedom from control. They demonstrate reactance, meaning they may strongly react to attempts to take freedoms away.
DiplomacyThe ability for groups such as nations to use communication and understanding to resolve differences.
PoliticsPolitics is the process of making decisions as a group through communication. Often involves intense power struggles that may nonetheless remain somewhat civil. Politics tends to emerge in any group that cooperates.
CivilityCivility is the ability to organize into societies, communities and cultures and to conform to a shared set of rules in order to live in peace.
ConflictA tendency for civility and diplomacy to breakdown resulting in conflict between individuals and groups.
FearA dread of failure, uncertainty and risk. A type of instinct or motivation.
AngstAngst is the fear that your life will be meaningless. A type of motivation.
LoveThe ability to demonstrate unconditional loyalty, deep affection and benevolent concern for others.
Philosophy & SpiritualityThe ability to ponder foundational questions concerning the nature of the universe and the meaning of life.
MoralsPeople commonly adopt principles of right and wrong that they use to judge thoughts and actions.
AltruismAn unselfish desire to make things better even if it means personal sacrifice.
TranscendenceAn ability to overcome elements of society or human nature that is inconsistent with your pursuits. For example, an individual who can transcend the common tendency to engage in social comparison to reach a state of joyful self-confidence.
NotesThe list above isn't exhaustive. All the traits above aren't necessarily universal but are common human characteristics.It is often argued that humans can act in ways that are contrary to their nature. For example, being anti-social when you are innately social.
|Overview: Human Nature|
The common dispositions and characteristics of people.