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the study of need 

What does it mean to "need"

something or someone?


What is anakelogy?

WHAT is Anankelogy?

Anankelogy is the study of need


What we call "need" involves self-perpetuating movement in relation to inward and outward forces. Such need tightly relates to function.

As a broader field, all life experiences need. Expanded further, even planets “need” to revolve around its star. It too self-perpetuates as it moves with the tension of inward and outward forces.

Specifically here, we focus on human need. This is not to suggest human needs are more important than nonhuman needs. Only such needs fall outside our anthropocentric scope.


As covered here, anankelogy integrates the insights gleaned from other social sciences and beyond. This includes human biology, psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and more.


Each of these speak to our experience of needs in its own way. You may well wonder if we even need another social science targeting need.


If you think about it, these academic fields try to find answers to our many needs. So why not get to the point? Why not study the needs themselves?

Furthermore, let's learn all we can about needs from the current social sciences. And learn from their mistakes. Let's complement these academic traditions with a holistic nature-based lens. One that sees all aspects of our needs while relating intimately to its finer details.

A holistic or “systems” approach


Anankelogy offers a holistic approach complementary to the scientific reductionism widely applied in the social sciences. As used here, anankelogy takes a systems approach that starts with the whole. Then deduces from there.


A systems approach lets us deduce predictable relationships from observable patterns. The more water I drink, for example, the less thirsty I feel. In contrast to assumptions widely held in the other social sciences, anankelogy does not presume a wide gap exists between implicit theories and explicit theories. The more any observer's needs resolve, the less prone to distorting biases.


As its founder, this may reflect more of my own observational bias. Later “anankelogists” with a richer history in the discipline of scientific reductionism (which maintains reference to context while focusing on minutia) may elicit insights overlooked by this my more holistic or "systems" approach.



Nature-based paradigm


Science uses an agreeable lens to frame questions. In sociology, for example, the lens or "paradigm" in use include functionalism, symbolic interactionism, and conflict theory. Each provide a starting point to frame sociological questions to test and invalidate.

The "lens" used here sees the phenomenon of need as a dynamic feature of nature. Needs are natural; they exist independent of arbitrary human creations. Anankelogy sees "need" as objective phenomenon. They occur prior to our cultural responses to it. So they can be observed as scientific fact.

A nature-based approach appreciates human experience as subservient to natural forces. Indeed, the very idea of taming nature with technological innovation stems from the nature-originating preference to ease discomfort of unresolved needs. Apart from your uncomfortable needs originating in nature, you would never seek technological comforts

This nature-based approach balances intimate details of everyone's particular needs with a systems approach addressing all needs. It is good to hold onto one and not let go of the other.

A key pattern applied in this systems approach is the cycle. Indigenous wisdom provides an illuminating lens through which to understand needs as inward-outward movement.


The four-quadrant cycle illustrates two things relating to each other. Movement inward. Staying inward for a while. Movement outward. Staying outward for a phase. Rinse and repeat.


This organized way of looking provides anankelogy its first theoretical framework: nature-based paradigm. Others taking up the study of need are welcome to add their own lens to add to this new discipline.

Disciplined input is welcomed to add to anankelogy's three emergent levels.



Anankelogy levels


Academic anankelogy

(or scholarly anankelogy [SA])

As any scientific field, anankelogy anchors itself to a scholarly discipline. Peer review. Accountability to accessible evidence. Repeatable findings. Critique of theories. New findings unraveling previous assumptions.


Good science provides solid but provisional answers. Great science inspires better questions to ask and test. Continuous improvement for our continually changing world.

Applied anankelogy

(or clinical anankelogy [CA])

We can immediately apply anakelogical insight to our stubborn needs. I’m already applying it to persisting problems of over-prosecution, and to political polarization.


Value Relating exists to apply anankelogy. Psychosociotherapy as a practice emerges from this anankelogical perspective. That wellness is psychosocial, and not merely psychological nor reductively biological.


Accessible anankelogy

(or popular anankelogy [PA])

Unlike other academic fields, anankelogy anticipates its need to be accessible to those without the means of scientific rigor. Indeed, I question the apparent priesthood of academia.


Accessible anankelogy closes the gap between knowledgeable experts and the masses of lay people who utilize anankelogy insight. Accessible anankelogy keeps popular science-based ideas accountable to its disciplined core, while encouraging their communication in the most user-friendly ways.


Learn more

Blog entries

Anankelogy understands your needs. That's one of many blog entries discussing this new field on the science of need. Read more blog entries on anankelogy listed here. 

Anankelogy introduces many new terms. Check out this unique vocabulary, bringing to light the rich nuance affecting your needs.

Illustrative diagrams

Anankelogy illustrates almost every concept with a colorful diagram. The four-quadrant cycle offers many perspectives into the many cycles of our need experience. Let these illuminate your owyour understanding of your own needs.

Pronunciation guide

anankelogy [n.] (ä'-nä-kĕ'-lŏ-jē): the study of need, specifically here the human experience of need.

anankelogical [adj.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭ'-kâl): of, relating to, or characteristic of anankelogy; referring to the role of need in another subject.

anankelogist [n.] (ä'-nä-kĕ'-lŏ-jĭst): one who studies the role of need in observable phenomenon.

anankelogically [adv.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭ-kâ-lē'): referring to the role of need on some action. E.g., Political views tend to be less rationally deduced and more anankelogically produced. 

anakelogic [adj.] (ä'-nä-kĕ-lŏ'-jĭk): same as anankelogical.

Why not study the needs themselves?

The more any observer's needs resolve, the less prone to distorting biases.

Anankelogy sees "need" as objective phenomenon.

Good science provides solid but provisional answers. Great science inspires better questions to ask and test. 

- Academic anankelogy
- Applied anankelogy
- Accessible anankelogy
An levels
A holistic or "systems" approach
Nature-based paradigm
Learn more
an glossary
Anankelogy glossary

Anankelogy introduces many new terms. Check out this unique vocabulary, bringing to light the rich nuance affecting your needs.

The book

You Need This is the working title for a book I am writing to introduce anankelogy. But I though it unwise to publish these ideas without first "market" testing them.


So I want to share this material with you first. To test these ideas. To put them through the ringer of Value Relating's anankelogically-based services. And shared here and in offered courses, to engage the needy in us all.

YNT book cover (b).png
the book
A101 outline

Anankelogy 101

Anankelogy 101 introduces you to the study of need in eight tightly packed units. This gives you a survey to familiarize you with this new way to understand your needs. And to relate better with the needs of others.


Browse this outline below to see if anankelogy speaks to you. Then turn the page to start pouring through a treasure chest of golden insights.  


If you need a personal touch, enroll in our Anankelogy 101 course—free for now. Look under the hood to see the powerful engine driving our services. And creating the foundation for our free power tools.


Join us on this adventure to spread some need-affirming love.

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