Have you ever pondered the following questions?

  • Is my life structured enough to give me appropriate direction? 
  • Do I feel energized in my life? 
  • Do I have a friend or a loved one that I enjoy spending time with?

You can relate your answers to the concept known as psychological hunger.

Free vector business support concept illustration

According to Eric Bernefather of Transactional Analysis, our psychological hunger is of three types.

  • Recognition
  • Structure
  • Stimulation


The most fundamental form of hunger is the craving for recognition. During infancy, this hunger manifests as the need for physical contact and warmth from caregivers.  As you grow as an adult, you may still need some form of recognition and appreciation from your parents, friends, colleagues, boss, and so on.

For instance: 

If you are a musician performing at a concert or releasing a new song, you may desire recognition from fans, critics, or industry professionals, which validates your talent and hard work.  Or, if you are an entrepreneur starting a business and working tirelessly to make it successful, you may seek recognition from customers, investors, and the industry, which validates your vision and efforts.  


Secondly, the “structure” is the hunger where you need to have a sense of order and predictability every day. 

For instance:  Creating a daily schedule or to-do list provides structure and organization for the day, and helps you to stay focused, manage time, and accomplish tasks effectively.  Likewise, a manager may implement clear procedures and guidelines within the organization to provide structure and ensures every employee abides by the structure. 

Without structure, it may be difficult for you to motivate yourself to do anything, especially if you are self-employed.  A routine in place and a timetable may help you a lot.

Stimulation: Thirdly, hunger for “stimulation” is a sense of excitement and novelty.  You may find boredom intolerable and you may do something that interests you.

As an example, you may seek intellectual stimulation by engaging in stimulating conversations or debates.  If you are an adventurous individual, you may seek out exciting activities like skydiving, bungee jumping, or rock climbing to meet your need for a thrilling experience and adrenaline rush.

Psychological hunger may vary in degree for every individual and may vary at different stages of your life.


This can be used as a framework for understanding the suitability of the roles at your workplace and the tasks that you are doing.

To illustrate, if you are a person who has a strong hunger for structure, you may not be able to perform well in a field that needs high levels of creativity and experimentation such as advertising companies.

If you are a person who has a strong hunger for stimulation, you might not be suitable for accounting jobs as accounting needs high levels of structure.

This might be because your strongest hunger is being ignored!!

The psychological hunger for recognition, structure, and stimulation may help you identify what’s missing in your life and career.

What could be the food for your psychological hunger?

Stay tuned for our upcoming blog to know the answer😊.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Drop in your mail for weekly updates

Share this post with your friends

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
error: Content is protected !!