Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Fundamental human needs


Over 500 million people interact daily with Facebook. Yet, whether Facebook use influences subjective well-being over time is unknown. We addressed this issue using experience-sampling, the most reliable method for measuring in-vivo behavior and psychological experience. We text-messaged people five times per day for two-weeks to examine how Facebook use influences the two components of subjective well-being: how people feel moment-to-moment and how satisfied they are with their lives. Our results indicate that Facebook use predicts negative shifts on both of these variables over time. The more people used Facebook at one time point, the worse they felt the next time we text-messaged them; the more they used Facebook over two-weeks, the more their life satisfaction levels declined over time. Interacting with other people “directly” did not predict these negative outcomes. They were also not moderated by the size of people’s Facebook networks, their perceived supportiveness, motivation for using Facebook, gender, loneliness, self-esteem, or depression. On the surface, Facebook provides an invaluable resource for fulfilling the basic human need for social connection. Rather than enhancing well-being, however, these findings suggest that Facebook may undermine it.

Concepts: Psychology, Motivation, Need, Happiness, Fundamental human needs, Subjective life satisfaction, The Next Time, Criticism of Facebook


It is a fundamental human need to secure and sustain a sense of social belonging. Previous research has shown that individuals who are lonely are more likely than people who are not lonely to attribute humanlike traits (e.g., free will) to nonhuman agents (e.g., an alarm clock that makes people get up by moving away from the sleeper), presumably in an attempt to fulfill unmet needs for belongingness. We directly replicated the association between loneliness and anthropomorphism in a larger sample (N = 178); furthermore, we showed that reminding people of a close, supportive relationship reduces their tendency to anthropomorphize. This finding provides support for the idea that the need for belonging has causal effects on anthropomorphism. Last, we showed that attachment anxiety-characterized by intense desire for and preoccupation with closeness, fear of abandonment, and hypervigilance to social cues-was a stronger predictor of anthropomorphism than loneliness was. This finding helps clarify the mechanisms underlying anthropomorphism and supports the idea that anthropomorphism is a motivated process reflecting the active search for potential sources of connection.

Concepts: Free will, Need, Support, Technical support, Want, Nonviolent Communication, Fundamental human needs, Anthropomorphism


Power gives people the ability to control themselves and their environment, and this control is considered a fundamental human need. We investigated whether experiencing powerlessness induces the experience of self-dehumanization using three methods: priming, role-playing, and cueing. People in a position of low power viewed themselves (Experiments 1-3) as less human relative to people in a position of high power; furthermore, people with low power believed that they were viewed as less human by others as well (Experiments 2-3). In all of the experiments, human nature traits were most negatively affected by powerlessness in self-perception judgments, and uniquely human traits were most negatively affected by powerlessness in meta-perception judgments. Furthermore, the powerless believed they were viewed as less human not only by the powerful people but also the outside observers of the power dynamic. Self-dehumanization also appears to be a consequence of powerlessness rather than an incidental result of a change in mood or a negative self-view. Our findings are an important extension of previous work on the adverse effects of powerlessness and dehumanization.

Concepts: Psychology, Religion, Need, Power, Human nature, Fundamental human needs, Humans


The social media and medicine landscape is evolving rapidly. Early research, social media policies, and educational efforts focused on risk avoidance, while more current efforts have encouraged reflection and explored opportunities. This trajectory has affirmed physicians' professional commitment to maintaining public trust in the face of new challenges in the digital age. In this Commentary, the authors propose viewing physicians' social media use as a hierarchy of needs, similar to Maslow’s psychological theory which posits that more basic levels of needs must be met before higher, aspirational levels can be fully attained. The three levels in the social media in medicine’s hierarchy of needs are Security, Reflection, and Discovery. Critical to this model is respecting the essential need for Security in order to move towards Reflection and into Discovery. The social media in medicine hierarchy of needs pyramid rests on a foundation of Public Trust. How physicians as a profession have responded to past-and continue to respond to present and future-social media challenges to professionalism reveals what matters most: maintaining public trust and honoring the physicians' contract with society. A victory for online professionalism would be providing trainees with the tools and guidance needed to ascend to Discovery, while ensuring that their basic social media needs are first met. To do this, physician educators need to continue increasing trainees' awareness through designing relevant curricula, encouraging reflection, and providing positive role modeling and effective mentorship.

Concepts: Psychology, Medicine, Sociology, Physician, Profession, Need, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Fundamental human needs


The aim of this mixed-methods study was to investigate attrition at the age 10-year follow-up in a study of vulnerable children and their families living with low income following a two-generation preschool program in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Quantitative factors associated with attrition included: (a) food bank use; (b) unstable housing; © child welfare involvement; (d) unpartnered status; and (e) caregiver noncompletion of high school. Qualitative themes related to attrition included: (a) income and employment; (b) health; © unstable housing; (d) change of guardianship; (e) domestic violence; (f) work and time management challenges; and (g) negative caregiver-child relationships. Triangulation of quantitative and qualitative results occurred using Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs; families with unmet physiological, safety, belongingness and love needs, and esteem needs were more likely to attrite. Attrition in longitudinal studies with vulnerable families is complex, affected by frequently changing life circumstances, and struggles to access necessities of life. Strategies for retaining vulnerable families in longitudinal research are offered.

Concepts: Psychology, Research methods, Food, Sociology, Personal life, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Fundamental human needs, Abraham Maslow


A tracheostomy is a surgically created opening through the anterior neck tissues and the trachea, into which a tube is inserted. Despite its influence on basic human needs such as respiration, communication and nutrition, little is known about the impact of tracheostomy on patients and their caregivers or what could be done to enable better care and quality of life (QoL) for these individuals.

Concepts: Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Fundamental human needs


Social connection is a fundamental human need, but challenging for individuals with characteristics that are socially stigmatized. Parenting with mental illness presents obstacles, as well as opportunities, for connection. In the present study, we examined connectedness within a personal recovery paradigm for rural mothers with a mental illness. In-depth interviews with 17 mothers with a mental illness, utilizing constructivist grounded theory, resulted in six categories of meaning, including ‘yearning for connection’, ‘connecting intensely’, ‘encountering rejection and exclusion’, ‘choosing isolation’, ‘being known’, and ‘finding peers/helping others’. Women expressed a strong desire for connection, but for many, prior experiences of trauma and rejection created barriers to the development of trust, preventing some women from seeking opportunities for connection. Connectedness to self and significant others, and a broader life meaning and purpose can support and expedite personal recovery from mental illness for rural women. However the factors that contribute to the mental illness might also inhibit the development of trust needed to attain social connection. Increasing connectedness in mothers with mental illness is a complex endeavour requiring concerted focus as distinct from other service-delivery goals. The perinatal period could be a key time for intervention.

Concepts: Present, Psychology, Pregnancy, Sociology, Mental disorder, Meaning of life, Need, Fundamental human needs


When considering that social inclusion is a basic human need, it makes sense that self-esteem is fueled by social feedback and the sense of being liked by others. This is particularly true with respect to early adolescence, when peers become increasingly important. In the current paper, we tested which components of social inclusion are particularly beneficial for the development of self-esteem by differentiating between intrapersonal components (i.e., self-perceptions of social inclusion) and interpersonal components (i.e., perceiver and target effects of liking).

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Educational psychology, Developmental psychology, Motivation, Fundamental human needs, Interpersonal relationships, Like


We outline a general psychological theory of extremism and apply it to the special case of violent extremism (VE). Extremism is defined as motivated deviance from general behavioral norms and is assumed to stem from a shift from a balanced satisfaction of basic human needs afforded by moderation to a motivational imbalance wherein a given need dominates the others. Because motivational imbalance is difficult to sustain, only few individuals do, rendering extreme behavior relatively rare, hence deviant. Thus, individual dynamics translate into social patterns wherein majorities of individuals practice moderation, whereas extremism is the province of the few. Both extremism and moderation require the ability to successfully carry out the activities that these demand. Ability is partially determined by the activities' difficulty, controllable in part by external agents who promote or oppose extremism. Application of this general framework to VE identifies the specific need that animates it and offers broad guidelines for addressing this pernicious phenomenon. (PsycINFO Database Record

Concepts: Psychology, Sociology, Behavior, Motivation, Human behavior, Behaviorism, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Fundamental human needs


The need for social affiliation is one of the most important and fundamental human needs. Unsurprisingly, humans display strong negative reactions to social exclusion. In the present study, we investigated the effect of social exclusion on interoceptive accuracy - accuracy in detecting signals arising inside the body - measured with a heartbeat perception task. We manipulated exclusion using Cyberball, a widely used paradigm of a virtual ball-tossing game, with half of the participants being included during the game and the other half of participants being ostracized during the game. Our results indicated that heartbeat perception accuracy decreased in the excluded, but not in the included, participants. We discuss these results in the context of social and physical pain overlap, as well as in relation to internally versus externally oriented attention.

Concepts: Psychology, Neuroscience, English-language films, Pain, Black-and-white films, Need, Maslow's hierarchy of needs, Fundamental human needs