Basic Needs Satisfaction and Its Relation to Sociomoral Capacities and Behavior

  • Angela Kurth
  • Darcia NarvaezEmail author


Interdisciplinary research is demonstrating the importance of physiological and neurobiological development for adult functioning. Recently, the theoretical linkages between early experience and adult morality have been drawn. We examine the relation of early experience to basic needs fulfillment and their relation to adult moral functioning. Using the Basic Needs Satisfaction Scale (BNSS), a short, comprehensive scale with two subscales: Life Effectance and Life Discouragement. In two studies, we demonstrate evidence of basic needs satisfaction mediating the relationship between childhood experience and morality. We also examine which retrospective factors in childhood are most predictive of moral outcomes in adulthood. These results suggest that comprehensive satisfaction of basic needs may help explain the mechanism behind key relationships between childhood experiences and outcomes in adulthood that have been previously established by others.


Morality Triune ethics Basic needs Empathy Evolved developmental niche 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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