Standard Article

Affiliation Need

  1. Stephanie G. Chapman,
  2. Jonathan P. Schwartz

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0025

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Chapman, S. G. and Schwartz, J. P. 2010. Affiliation Need. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. University of Houston

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Theorists of personality and social psychology have long speculated about the processes involved in motivating individuals toward relationships with others. In the 1930s Henry Murray (1893–1988) and his multidisciplinary team at Harvard University studied the personality traits of 51 young men and produced one of the first major systematic studies of human personality. Stemming from this research was the landmark Explorations in Personality (Murray, 1938), which cataloged more than 20 human motives or “needs,” one of which was the need for affiliation (nAff). Murray's research program in personality formed the basis for several early personality tests, including the Thematic Apperception Test (TAT; Morgan & Murray, 1935), which assesses a dimension of need affiliation.


  • need affiliation;
  • affiliative need;
  • affiliation motivation