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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.

A101 outline





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.

Need conveyance

  1. laws

  2. politics

  3. partisanship

  4. emotions


Emotions convey need's direction

  1. discomfort (excess for functioning)

  2. relief (removing excess)

  3. desire (depleted for functioning)

  4. pleasure (replenishing depletion)


Emotions convey need's intensity

  1. nonfocal

  2. prefocal

  3. focal

  4. defocal

  5. nonfocal


Emotions convey need's focus

  1. at-rest

  2. aware

  3. alert

  4. alarm


Emotions convey need's duration

  1. report

  2. react

  3. respond

  4. result


Emotions point to needed object

  1. vague

  2. binary

  3. continuum

  4. matrices


NEF = need experience funnel.png

Need-experience funnel

  1. core

  2. resource

  3. access

  4. psychosocial

Emotions 0

RespondPain 08000.gif

Response to pain (1993)

  1. stimulating need

  2. resolving need

  3. partial resolution

  4. mounting pain



Psychosocial needs

  1. self-needs

  2. social needs

  3. self-needs > social-needs

  4. social-needs > self-needs


4-part pyschosocial cycle.png

Psychosocial growth seasons

  1. spring

  2. summer

  3. autumn

  4. winter



Psychosocial emotions

  1. guilt

  2. anxiety

  3. depression

  4. irritation



Johari window

  1. arena

  2. blind spot

  3. concealment

  4. dark area



Psychosocial seasons needs

  1. interdependency needs

  2. dependency needs

  3. counterdependency needs

  4. independency needs



Development zone

  1. green zone - optimal balance

  2. yellow zone - adequate balance

  3. red zone - alarming imbalance


Psychosocial Orientation Continuum.png

Psychosocial orientation

  1. wide-yet-shallow

  2. wide-then-deep

  3. wide-&-deep

  4. deep-then-wide

  5. deep-yet-narrow


convention orientation cycle A.png

Conventionality orientation

  1. cisconventional

  2. dysconventional

  3. transconventional

  4. anticonventional



Easement orientation

  1. relieve-as-resolve

  2. relieve-over-resolve

  3. resolve-as-relieve

  4. resolve-over-relieve



3 conventional areas

  1. anticonventional; econ/judi/poli

  2. cisconventional; econ/judi/poli

  3. dysconventional; econ/judi/poli

  4. transconventional; econ/judi/poli




  1. generalize against

  2. relieve with generalizing opposite

  3. reinforce the pain

  4. blame unfamiliar more responsible




  1. flow outward

  2. remain outward

  3. flow inward

  4. remain inward

Need creation


Where do needs come from?

We begin with a “Before the beginning…” thought experiment. We look at how your needs originally began.

Reverse engineer your needs

After seeing how your needs originally began, we can better know how to best resolve them.

A science of need

We look at “need” as objective phenomenon. Your needs occur prior to human creation, so can be observed as any natural phenomenon.

Need as functioning

Your needs are all about functioning. Resolved needs enables functioning. Unresolved needs diminish functioning.

Cyclic functioning

At the root of functioning is the ebb and flow one experiences with their environment. You draw closer, then move apart. The four-quadrant cycle illustrates this over and over again.

Function is a balancing act

Functioning involves homeostasis, the process of maintaining functional balance with your immediate environment. Like the flowing in and out of water.

Need conveyance


Defining emotion

Emotions convey needs. According to nature-based anankelogy, it’s as simple as that. We illustrate with the cycle diagram the four ways emotions convey needs. 

I. Emotions convey direction of your need

Your sense of good and bad links back to how well your core needs resolve.

II. Emotions convey intensity of your need

Each need you face demands some of your focus. Some more than others.

Intensity includes degree of focus on your need

The less your need resolves, the more intense the focus it commands.

III. Emotions convey duration of your need

You can react to our routine needs. You best reflect on less familiar needs.

IV. Emotions convey object of your need

Your emotions suggest what you must get or do for its relief.

Need easement


Your psychosocial functioning

The more your self-needs and social-needs resolve on par with each other, the better you can function in life. Unfortunately, the tides of cultural norms do not favor it.


Your functionality levels

You can function at the peak of your potential. Or at the level widely supported by your social surroundings. Or just enough to stave off pain. Or just enough to survive.


Some functionality terms

New terms help wrap your mind around these fresh concepts. And to see nuance in the full functionality array.


Your psychosocial resources

Others impact your needs. From strangers you hardly know to your closest buddy.


Your psychosocial growth

You function well or poorly on how well you relate with others.


Law creation

The farther apart in our social universe, the more we require rules to sort things out.


Your four psychosocial guardians

Four key emotions constantly watch over you. They must. Your wellbeing counts on it.

Need experience

Your need-experience funnel

Your body needs fluid equilibrium. You need water. You need to fetch it from somewhere. You are someone must do the fetching from somewhere. That covers four levels of the need-experience funnel.

Your psychosocial needs

You need to do things for yourself. But you also need the help of others. A list of these self-needs and social-needs gives context to that last need-experience funnel item.

Your psychosocial growth cycle

The functioning behind need is all about balancing oneself within and without. Failure to find equilibrium costs your capacity to function.

What season are you in now?

Our relationships go through the same seasons as you see in the year. Which are you in now?

How does this affect your politics?

Are your self-needs more resolved than your social-needs? Or your social-needs more resolved?

Need-experience orientations

Your routine experience shapes how you need. We’ll look at three of these. Relational orientation. Easement orientation. Conventional orientation.

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. 

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 now available on Amazon. Buy the eBook or purchase a paperback copy.


You can explore its material right here, by signing up for the the free eCourse Anankelogy 101.


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.

YNT cover.jpg


Psychosocial functionality cycles

You have four complementary needs cycling all the time.

1) Peakfunctional cycle

2) Symfunctional cycle

3) Dysfunctional cycle

4) Misfunctional cycle & offense cyclestate abuse

How well do yours cycle?


Functionality change

You either improve functioning or lose functioning, move toward wellness or away from it.


More functionality terms

More fresh terms for sorting out these new concepts.

- Academic anankelogy
- Applied anankelogy
- Accessible anankelogy
An levels
A holistic or "systems" approach
Nature-based paradigm
Learn more
an glossary
the book
01 need creation
02 need conveyance
03 need experience
04 need easement
05 functionality
06 defunctions



This dynamic list covers problems you and I face that psychology and biology easily overlook.

07 refunctions


This growing list covers laudable qualities for improving all our lives. By these our needs more fully resolve.

  1)    Love

  2)    Gratitude

  3)    Grace

  4)    Humility

  5)    Honesty

  6)    Forgiveness

  7)    Mercy

  8)    Justice

  9)    Patience

10)    Perseverance

11)    Discipline

12)    Quietude

13)    Equanimity

14)    Resilience

15)    Generosity

16)    Liberty

17)    Holistic balancing

18)    Psychosocial balancing

19)    Cognitive dynamism

20)    Relational knowing

21)    Dynamic relating

22)    Impact engaging

23)    Mutual valuing

24)    Mutual understanding

25)    Mutual trust

08 APs


Relational knowing

Trust your perceptions better by linking them to how well needs resolve. By testable correlations even you can measure.


Knowing through being known

What you know can never be as important than how much you know of yourself and can reveal to others.


Accessible anankelogy kept accountable

Go ahead and be an armchair social scientist. You are the best expert about yourself.


Psychosocial vacillation

Modern life pulls us easily into extremes of self-needs and then social-needs.


Political vacillation

Our split between prioritized self-needs and prioritized social-needs sits at the core of our political differences.


Historical vacillation

We have all these amazing critiquing tools from history. Some of us have to spoil them each time.

Critiquing this critiquing of critiquing tools

To walk this talk of dynamic relating, the ball of understanding your needs is tossed back to you.


The unwinding

I don’t know what I don’t know, but I trust I am on course to asking better questions for us all.

09 Knowing
Segue into applied anankelogy


Segue into applied anankelogy


These eight units largely repeat in the follow-up section on applied anankelogy. We apply these anankelogical concepts to the social problems of polarized politics and adversarial justice.

This content explaining anankelogy may be reproduced if giving credit to its source, including the URL.


In the tradition of my Haudenosaunee ancestors, I do not “sell” this inspired creation of anankelogy as individually owned intellectual property but offer it free to all. Once I put it all out there, according to indigenous principles, it no longer belongs to me. It belongs to us all.


I do accept donations. I do not require a lot of cash; my bill collectors do. This is how a latter-day Native like myself can balance both worlds. Thank you.


with this $1 gift. Thank you."

If you are ready, willing and able to contribute more, then who am I to stop you? 

Go ahead and click here to express more of your gratitude. And to offer any testimonial of what this means to you.

Thank you for thanking me serving your needs.

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