The five basic human needs

According to Dr Glasser, all behaviour is purposeful. It is our best attempt at the time, given our current knowledge and skills, to meet one or more of our basic human needs, needs which evolved over time and have become part of our genetic structure. These needs are the general motivation for everything we do.

The five basic needs are:

  1. Survival
  2. Belonging
  3. Power
  4. Freedom
  5. Fun

Characteristics of the five basic human needs:

  1. Universal
  2. Innate
  3. Overlapping
  4. Satisfied from moment to moment
  5. Conflict with others needs


You can download these activities and use them within your groups

  1. Personalising the basic human needs
  2. Your needs profile


The perceived world and the perceptual system