Do we have a psychological need to talk to people?

I don't believe it's in Maslow's hierarchy, but surely.

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    $\begingroup$ Maslow's needs aren't entirely supported and can be a bit controversial, but one of the levels is love/belonging; it may not include verbal communication explicitly, but it's likely implicitly included for most people. Can you maybe explain a bit more the motivation for your question? That might make it more answerable with specific data.. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause
    Sep 3, 2019 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ my motivation is just that i feel the need to communicate but it isn't included in maslow's list of needs @BryanKrause $\endgroup$
    – user7852
    Sep 3, 2019 at 0:35
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    $\begingroup$ Have you looked at the isolation and social exclusion literature? That might clarify the need to talk issue $\endgroup$
    – Poidah
    Sep 3, 2019 at 0:41
  • $\begingroup$ As @BryanKrause asked, please help us to help you and edit your question to provide more information on what you have read on this subject, and any problems you are having understanding your research. If you found nothing, what did you Google? This helps to provide an answer which will be more helpful. $\endgroup$ Sep 3, 2019 at 9:52
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    $\begingroup$ What have you read about Maslow's hierarchy that makes you conclude "it's not in Maslow's hierarchy"? Would an answer that explains it is encompassed in Maslow's hierarchy answer your question? $\endgroup$
    – Steven Jeuris
    Sep 3, 2019 at 12:38

1 Answer 1


It’s worth remembering that Maslow proffered a THEORY with very little experimental evidence to support it. Since then lots of experimental research has been done with a number of primary needs being identified. Primary needs are often those that take place implicitly and/or evoke visceral responses (typically via the amygdala) when threatened or rewarded (there’s more to it than that but just a starter for 10).

A neat summary of those primary needs can be found in David Rock’s Your Brain at Work (2009). The need I believe you’re referring to is RELATEDNESS. Neuroscientific research in this area has found that being excluded from say a conversation or group hurts us more than physical pain. Also have a look at:

The neural bases of feeling understood and not understood Sylvia A. Morelli, Jared B. Torre, Naomi I. Eisenberger

Naomi Eisenberger in addition has lots more great research in this area - too much to list here

Hope this helps!


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