Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

Living Edition
| Editors: Virgil Zeigler-Hill, Todd K. Shackelford

Need for Affiliation

  • Anna Józefczyk
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-28099-8_538-1



The need for affiliation is a term which concerns establishing, maintaining, and restoring positive relationships with other people (Atkinson et al. 1954). People with a high need for affiliation are sociable, friendly, interested in social interactions, and they prefer being in other people’s company rather than on their own.


The term was first introduced by Henry Murray, in 1938 in his book Explorations in Personality, and popularized by David McClelland who considered the need for affiliation to be an individual’s main motivational disposition, together with the need for achievement and the need for power. It was also included among the basic needs in Maslow’s theory and defined as a need for belonging and love, triggered after satisfying physiological and safety needs.

The need for affiliation motivates an individual to seek contact with others. Satisfying this need entails gaining some benefits – receiving a...

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© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PsychologyUniversity of LodzLodzPoland