Belonging research paper | Psychology homework help

What causes people to be drawn to one another? What happens when one experiences rejection? Human beings are wired for relationships. Unlike some species that do not organize socially, such as koalas and jaguars, humans need relationships. We are what Baumeister and Bushman refer to as cultural animals, immersing ourselves within social groups. Humans engage in relationships of all kinds from family, acquaintances and friends, to romantic partners. Belonging is a basic human need (Baumeister & Bushman, 2014).

Baumeister and Bushman (2014) describe belonging as a human need that requires regular contact and ongoing relationships with at least four to six people. When people have no sustainable relationships or are long distances for extended periods from those they love, whether a friend, family member, or romantic partner, they become lonely and potentially depressed. Feeling lonely and ostracized is associated with aggressive and other antisocial behaviors (Baumeister & Bushman).

As social and cultural beings, humans benefit in many ways from belongingness to a group of people. Research supports that belongingness can benefit physical health as well as mental health (Baumeister & Bushman, 2014). Support from people with whom one has stable bonds is associated with higher resistance to disease and higher rates of healing from illness and injury.


Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2014). Social psychology & human nature (3rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

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