Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
Our tendency to create and sustain relationships depends on three basic needs based on the research by psychologist William Schutz (1966). He states that the first need is for affection, the second is for inclusion, and the third is for control. Expanding on the ideas of Schutz, Abraham Maslow stated that we communicate to meet a range of human needs (1968). That our basic needs must be satisfied before we can focus on those that are not as important. This concept of a hierarchy of needs was introduced in his 1943 paper "A Theory of Human Motivation" and his following book “Motivation and Personality”. This hierarchy states that people are motivated to satisfy basic needs before moving on to other, more progressive needs.
Maslow’s hierarchy is often displayed as a pyramid. The lowest levels of the pyramid are the most basic needs, while the intricate needs are located at the top of the pyramid. Needs at the bottom of the pyramid are basic physical requirements including the need for food, water, sleep, and warmth. Once these low levels of needs have been met, people can move on to the higher levels of needs, which are for safety and security. Further up the pyramid, the need for love, friendship, and intimacy become important. Lastly the need for personal esteem and feelings of accomplishment become the most important. This is a process of growing and developing as a person in order to gain their best personal potential (Schutz 1966).