What Are Psychological Needs?

Psychological needs such as such as confidence, achievement and morality are on a high level of human needs, Psychology Today explains. The most basic needs are physiological, such as breathing, eating and sleeping. Mid-level needs are social, such as family, friendship and sexual intimacy.

Psychologist Abraham Maslow formulated a theory of hierarchy of needs, according to Saul McLeod for Simply Psychology. This theory outlines various physiological and psychological needs in a pyramid-style hierarchy of importance. Maslow believed that people are generally motivated by their needs.

After a person meets the basic physiological needs required for living, next come the needs for security, love/belonging, esteem and self-actualization, according to Psychology Today. Security of body, employment, resources, morality, health, family and property are considered psychological needs in addition to love, family, friendship and sexual intimacy. Esteem, while less important than the others, is still a motivating factor in human behavior. Self-esteem, confidence, achievement, respect for others and respect by others all are driving factors in human motivation.

Maslow believed self-actualization is a psychological state that is reached by few people and that self-actualization is the realization of one’s full potential after meeting all other needs, according to Wikipedia. Simply Psychology states that part of self-actualization is transcendence, the need to help others reach their full potential.