How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
The CIN Needs Model
This is an interconnected model of needs that is unique to this site. What makes it really useful is the simple focus it gives to three key needs, and then show how other needs are causally interconnected. This lets us use it for persuasion by giving a map of the needs hot-buttons that drive people forward.
To explore the model, click on the links!
The diagram shows the three key needs in the central yellow band. CIN stands for Control, Identity and Novelty, which is the general priority order in which we experience them.
Control and Identity are, in fact, hidden in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs.
Note the we do not always need control, identity or novelty--what is important in most cases is that we believe that we have them. This is particularly so in our sense of identity, which is entirely constructed inside our minds.
The blue band of evolutionary needs is based in evolutionary psychology and shows how satisfying the three key needs can lead to that useful outcome of survival of the species.
There are a number of other needs which lead to the three key needs.
For a sense of control:
For a sense of identity:
For a sense of arousal:
There have been similar 3-level systems of needs proposed by others. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, there are some close parallels. We believe, of course, that the CIN model comes closer to the nub. In particular, its principles are far easier to use in situations of practical persuasion.
Apparently even Linus Torvalds, the orginator of the Linux operating system has describe a parallel set of needs as survival, sociability, and entertainment, which is surprisingly close to the CIN needs.
So build tension by attacking their needs, possibly through the systems they have already built to satisfy those needs. Create closure by offering solutions that meet needs.
Our need for novelty and control can conflict. Control is about stability. Novelty is about change. As control is the deeper need, it often displaces novelty. So if the other person is seeking novelty, attack their sense of control.
Alderfer, C. (1972). Existence, relatedness, & growth. New York: Free Press
James, W. (1892/1962). Psychology: Briefer course. New York: Collier
Mathes, E. (1981). Maslow's hierarchy of needs as a guide for living. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 21, 69-72
Deci, E., & Ryan, R. (1991). A motivational approach to self: Integration in personality. In R. Dienstbier (Ed.), Perspectives on motivation. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press