The need for belonging refers to the motivation to feel connected to and accepted by other people. While this need can operate at the interpersonal level (interactions between two people), humans are also motivated to feel included in groups. For most people, satisfying the need to belong is not difficult. However, for those who fail to gain acceptance, the consequences can be quite negative.

Background and Psychological Bases

The need to belong has been viewed as a critical motivation since the early 1900s. For example, Sigmund Freud highlighted the important psychological benefits of contact between people in groups. A few years later, Abraham Maslow, in his famous hierarchy of human needs, argued that only two other basic needs have greater priority than the need to belong: physiological ...

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