the study of need
What does it mean to "need"
something or someone?
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.
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.
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.
(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.
(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.
(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.
Anankelogy introduces many new terms. Check out this unique vocabulary, bringing to light the rich nuance affecting your needs.
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.
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.
3 conventional areas
We begin with a “Before the beginning…” thought experiment. We look at how your needs originally began.
After seeing how your needs originally began, we can better know how to best resolve them.
We look at “need” as objective phenomenon. Your needs occur prior to human creation, so can be observed as any natural phenomenon.
Your needs are all about functioning. Resolved needs enables functioning. Unresolved needs diminish 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.
Functioning involves homeostasis, the process of maintaining functional balance with your immediate environment. Like the flowing in and out of water.
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.
Your sense of good and bad links back to how well your core needs resolve.
Each need you face demands some of your focus. Some more than others.
The less your need resolves, the more intense the focus it commands.
You can react to our routine needs. You best reflect on less familiar needs.
Your emotions suggest what you must get or do for its relief.
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.
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.
New terms help wrap your mind around these fresh concepts. And to see nuance in the full functionality array.
Others impact your needs. From strangers you hardly know to your closest buddy.
You function well or poorly on how well you relate with others.
The farther apart in our social universe, the more we require rules to sort things out.
Four key emotions constantly watch over you. They must. Your wellbeing counts on it.
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.
The functioning behind need is all about balancing oneself within and without. Failure to find equilibrium costs your capacity to function.
Our relationships go through the same seasons as you see in the year. Which are you in now?
Are your self-needs more resolved than your social-needs? Or your social-needs more resolved?
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 introduces many new terms. Check out this unique vocabulary, bringing to light the rich nuance affecting your needs.
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 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.
You have four complementary needs cycling all the time.
How well do yours cycle?
You either improve functioning or lose functioning, move toward wellness or away from it.
More fresh terms for sorting out these new concepts.
This dynamic list covers problems you and I face that psychology and biology easily overlook.
30) Conflict porn
36) Relief bias
37) Familiarity bias
38) Imposed relief
39) Impact avoidance
40) Impact neglect
49) Enabled evil
This growing list covers laudable qualities for improving all our lives. By these our needs more fully resolve.
21) Dynamic relating
22) Impact engaging
23) Mutual valuing
25) Mutual trust
26) Mutual support
41) Safe & secure
44) Primed potential
45) Driving purpose
Trust your perceptions better by linking them to how well needs resolve. By testable correlations even you can measure.
What you know can never be as important than how much you know of yourself and can reveal to others.
Go ahead and be an armchair social scientist. You are the best expert about yourself.
Modern life pulls us easily into extremes of self-needs and then social-needs.
Our split between prioritized self-needs and prioritized social-needs sits at the core of our political differences.
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.
I don’t know what I don’t know, but I trust I am on course to asking better questions for us all.
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.
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