What Are Social Needs in Maslow's Hierarchy? - Definition & Examples

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  • 0:00 Social Needs: Maslow's…
  • 0:40 Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
  • 1:45 Social Needs
  • 2:35 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shamekia Thomas

Shamekia has taught English at the secondary level and has her doctoral degree in clinical psychology.

Learn about Maslow's social stage in the hierarchy of needs, apply the social stage to your life and experiences, and test your knowledge with a quiz.

Social Needs: Maslow's Hierarchy

When you experience a problem in your life, what do you typically do? Who do you typically call? Chances are you have someone who supports and encourages you when you feel overwhelmed. In order to avoid problems such as anxiety, depression, or loneliness, we all need to feel accepted and supported by others. When we are able to develop strong connections with others such as friends, family, team members, and lovers, we are able to cope with distressing situations.

According to Abraham Maslow, there are five stages of needs, and the third stage of needs that motivates human behavior is our need for social relatedness or love and belongingness. To really understand this, let's look at this in more depth.

Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs


Maslow's hierarchy of needs was developed to describe the needs that motivate us all throughout our lives. Abraham Maslow developed five stages of needs that motivate human behavior. The five stages in Maslow's hierarchy of needs in order from lowest to highest level include physiological, safety, social (love and belonging), esteem, and self-actualization. Each need must be met from lowest (physiological) to highest (self-actualization). The first two levels of need are considered basic needs, which are based on the need for survival and safety.

The third stage in Maslow's hierarchy of needs is the social stage (also known as the love and belonging stage), which includes interpersonal relationships. The social stage is not based on basic needs but instead on psychological or emotional needs. The primary source of behavior at this stage of development is the need for emotional connections such as friendships, family, social organizations, romantic attachments, or other situations involving interactions with others.

Social Needs

Social needs refer to the need to have relationships with others once the physiological and safety needs have been fulfilled. Maslow considered the social stage an important part of psychological development because our relationships with others help reduce emotional concerns such as depression or anxiety. As humans, we all have a need to feel loved and accepted by others.

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