The NEED for RECOGNITION in psychology: Maslow's definition and examples

  • Sep 13, 2021
The need for recognition in psychology: Maslow's definition and examples

In this article we are going to talk about the need for recognition. Have you ever seen yourself in a situation where you expected to be recognized? Well, know that the need for recognition is something normal for human beings. In this Psychology-Online article, we will see what is the need for recognition in psychology. We will understand where the need to be recognized comes from, when the need for approval is excessive and also what can be done in relation to such need.

What does the word recognition mean? To begin with, it is important to define what recognition is. According to the RAE dictionary, among the definitions of recognize can be found: admit or accept something like legitimate, admit something as true, admit or accept that someone or something has a certain quality or condition. Thus being, it can be said that recognition occurs when one feels valued and competent for their deeds and qualities.

Recognition examples

First of all, some examples should be given:

  • Alfonso has passed in all the subjects of the course.
  • Juan has built the model alone.
  • Álvaro was promoted at the company he works for.
  • José has won the award for best writer of the year.

What is in common between them? All were recognized for their deeds. Now that we understand what recognition is, let's dig a little deeper.

Within Psychology, there is an author called Abraham Maslow, this American psychologist created the "Pyramid of Maslow" that proposes a hierarchy of human needs. We will look at each of the levels and how Maslow defines the esteem needs.

  1. Physiological needs. To better understand your pyramid, let's start at the bottom. At the base of Maslow's pyramid are physiological needs, that is, all human beings need to breathe, eat and rest.
  2. Security needs. If we go up to the next level of the pyramid, we will find the security needs, these refer to the need of the human being to feel physical security, resources, health and family.
  3. Membership needs. In the middle of the pyramid is the need for affiliation, this means that human beings feel the need to belong to a group of friends, to receive affection and sexual intimacy.
  4. Recognition needs. At the next level of the pyramid we find the need for recognition. What is the need for esteem and recognition? This need refers to the esteem you feel for yourself. The high esteem that a human being feels is associated with feelings such as confidence, independence, importance, achievement, appreciation and dignity. At this level, the motivation of the person is highly related to how he feels in relation to himself and to the validation of other people, that is, recognition.
  5. Self-actualization needs. And finally, on the levels of Maslow's pyramid, at the last level is the need for self-realizationThis level is a little different, because the person has a higher psychological need, it is compatible with the idea of ​​personal growth, the need to "be" and feel self-realized.

It must be understood that in Maslow's theory the next level of the pyramid is only reached when the previous level has been conquered.

The Need for Recognition in Psychology: Maslow's Definition and Examples - Maslow's Needs

If we develop further the topic about the level of "need for recognition" mentioned above, we will see that human beings can have:

  • High self esteem, that is, what you think of yourself is positive and you manage to recognize his qualities and abilities.
  • Low self esteem, having an inferiority thought about oneself, allowing what others think has more value, in this case, there is a constant need for attention and approval from the other. And it is right from there that low self-esteem issues develop, as the individual ends up feeling inferior and begins to experience feelings such as exaggerated reactions, anxiety, inability to see the positive side of situations, guilt, indecision, feelings of helplessness, among others.

Need for recognition and social networks

When we bring the topic up to date, we can identify some routine situations in which the need for recognition occurs frequently, such as on social media.

Some individuals who have social networks often worry about the content that they are going to upload on their networks, there is a certain care with their "posts". It is not a mere coincidence that there are so many applications to improve the quality of a photo or video, and the The objective is unique, it is to be recognized, be it for beauty, creativity, grace or any other reason. Generally, these people they are seeking to be seen, there is a need for approval, to be valued and to be accepted.

Why do people seek recognition?

The need for recognition is something that all human beings need. From an early age, a child needs the approval of her parents, understanding here in this case the family environment, since from the most youthful stages of our life is when we learn about respect and affection, which are values ​​that make us feel recognized

In addition, once our qualities and capabilities are recognized, they allow us to develop our self-esteem and self-confidence.

The self-confident individual is capable of knowing their capabilities and limitationsSo, you feel safe to move forward and be in control of your own life.

When is the need for approval too great?

And, last but not least, you have to know how to evaluate when that search for recognition is not healthy. An example is when a person becomes obsessed with recognition, both regarding their physique and their behavior and actions. It is important to say that if we recognize that we are not managing to change our attitudes in relation to certain situations, we must go to a professional who can guide us.

As we have seen, the need for recognition exists in the human development process and it is important to achieve a balance on the subject, learning to deal with the emotions, having a critical sense, realizing when you are allowing others to be responsible for the value you give yourself and knowing how to recognize the qualities that is owned.

The need for recognition in psychology: Maslow's definition and examples - How to heal the need for recognition?

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to The need for recognition in psychology: Maslow's definition and examples, we recommend that you enter our category of Emotions.

instagram viewer