BlogMarketing PsychologyWhat are Basic Human Needs?

What are Basic Human Needs?

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Human needs definition

Basic human needs are what is essential for us to survive, live and thrive. Our actions are motivated by those needs and determine our development. Thus, our basic needs are at the base of human motivation.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is one of the most popular theories of human needs. Abraham Maslow, a psychologist, stated that our actions are derived by fulfilling specific needs.

Maslow’s hierarchy of needs

Maslow’s theory suggested that people are motivated to fulfill basic needs before moving to other, more advanced needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is a framework that organizes human behavior and aspirations into categories ranging from physical survival to self-actualization. As a humanist, Maslow believed that humans have an inborn desire to be fully realized, which he defined as the need for self-actualization. Several more fundamental requirements must be satisfied before.

Physiological needs

Physiological needs are what we need to survive as living organisms. The bare essentials for human survival are food, water, clothing, sleep, and shelter. However, many people may not fulfill these fundamental needs without the help of charity groups. For example, a dependable location to get a meal might be all that is required for someone to concentrate on more significant priorities.

Safety and security

The requirements at the third level of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs are more complex. The wants for security and protection become most pressing at this stage—the desire for order and stability sets in when a person’s fundamental requirements are met. Several barriers prevent offline individuals from gaining job security and establishing a stable social network. People want control and order in their lives. So, this need for safety and security contributes largely to behaviors at this level. Basic security and safety needs include financial security, health, and wellness, protection against accidents and injury.


Social needs

As we stated in our article about social psychology in marketing, people are social animals. For most people, family and connection are top priorities. It might be challenging for individuals who live on the street to connect with a friendly group. The social needs in Maslow’s hierarchy include such things as love, acceptance, and belonging. At this level, the need for emotional relationships drives human behavior.

Esteem needs

The need for appreciation and respect is the fourth level in Maslow’s hierarchy. The self-esteem needs begin to take center stage as the demands at the bottom three levels are satisfied. Gaining self-esteem and acceptance from others are crucial phases in individuals’ efforts to keep their jobs and overcome addiction. People may only start developing good relationships with themselves and others once they have found love and connection.


In Maslow’s words, self-actualization “may be loosely described as the full use and exploitation of talents, capabilities, potentialities, etc. Such people seem to be fulfilling themselves and doing the best that they are capable of doing. They are people who have developed or are developing to the full stature of which they capable.”

We all want a meaningful existence. Yet, nothing can compare to the sense of accomplishment that comes with knowing you’ve achieved your most significant potential. This final stage, however, varies from person to person.

Basic psychological needs

Apart from what we need to survive and thrive in our environment, there are needs for our psychological wellbeing whether we have fundamental psychological conditions that contribute to our growth and mental health.

The phrase “basic psychological need” is defined more precisely and narrowly in Basic Psychological Need Theory as a necessary psychological nutrient for people’s adjustment, integrity, and development.

The Basic Psychological Needs Theory develops the idea of basic psychological needs and how they are connected to mental health and wellbeing. According to the theory, autonomy, competence, and relatedness are required for psychological wellbeing and optimal functioning. As a result, wellness should always be affected by environments that support or stifle these requirements.

According to this idea, all three requirements are required, and if any is ignored, there will be significant functional consequences. The theory examines cross-developmental and cross-cultural settings for validation and improvements since basic needs are common functioning elements.

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Autonomy is defined as the feeling of self-determination and choice. When content, one has a sensation of integrity since one’s behaviors, thoughts, and emotions are self-endorsed and genuine. One feels under pressure and frequently interacts with others in conflict when dissatisfied.


Competence is the feeling of being competent. It is satisfying to participate in activities successfully and encounters chances to use and extend skills and knowledge. On the other hand, when dissatisfied, one may feel ineffective or even unsuccessful and helpless.


Relatedness refers to warmth, bonding, and care, which is felt when you connect with and feel significant to others. Conversely, relatedness dissatisfaction might be accompanied by feelings of social alienation, isolation, and loneliness.

If you want to learn more about social psychology make sure to check out our post.


People need to know their basic psychological needs are being met to be mentally healthy.

You can also discuss this from Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs theory or a perspective of self-actualization.

We also emphasized the importance of psychological needs that include autonomy, relatedness, and competence. They are what drive social influence.

We hope that now you know more about human needs and why they are essential.

Make sure to check out our other articles on psychology and marketing.


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