Henry Murray believed that human action is motivated mostly by needs, which are mostly unconscious. Those needs influence and drive behavior. Murray's identification of core psychological needs provided important insight into human behavior.
Murray's most significant and well-known contribution is the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT), a personality test he developed which involved having individuals interpret a series of pictures to tell a story. Murray had theorized that the stories would reflect the individuals' underlying psychological state, their needs, drives, desires, hopes, and so forth, based on their own past experiences. This test became a valuable tool in assessing the psychological state of individuals.
The work of Henry Murray, and subsequent psychologists who have built on his ideas, has greatly increased our understanding of what motivates people, and thus how to care for them. In this way, his efforts have contributed to the betterment of society.