How we change what others think, feel, believe and do
Doyal and Gough's Needs
Len Doyal and lan Gough differentiate between basic health needs and the more cognitive autonomous needs, and have created a useful list of intermediate needs. Their model also considers the satisfaction of needs for entire groups as well as for individuals.
Physical health needs are the fundamental requirements in order to stay alive. For this you first need food and water. It is also important to avoid situations where you may be killed or hurt. The person also needs to not catch diseases.
Overall, the nature of what we do with regard to these needs is around avoiding harm.
As with Maslow's Hierarchy, health needs are most important and will take precedence when they are threatened or impacted.
Overall, the nature of action with regard to autonomous needs is around making informed choices to achieve conscious goals. To make these choices, a person needs three attributes:
Critical autonomy is about going beyond the constraints of culture that can easily limit the choices that a person makes, and which acts as unspoken and assumed boundaries. Breaking social and cultural rules can require significant courage.
Doyal and Gough identify eleven 'intermediate needs' (or universal satisfier characteristics) for things that are essential for basic needs and enable autonomous needs to be satisfied.
Needs do not just simply result in action and there are both procedural and material preconditions that must be satisfied.
Procedural preconditions are about the ability to identify needs and ways of satisfying them. Where there are groups of people involved, this requires discussion and agreement, including the resolution of any conflict around these.
Three procedural preconditions are hence identified:
Material preconditions are about the capacity to produce and deliver need satisfiers.
Four material preconditions are identified:
The principle of autonomy is a useful consideration in persuasion where you can give the other person choice and hence not create reaction.
The intermediate needs list is a useful checklist of things to check, for example a person who has limited economic security will be more concerned about pricing.
Doyal, L. and Gough, I. (1991). A Theory of Human Need, New York: Guilford.
Gough, I. (1994) Economic Institutions and the Satisfaction of Human Needs. Journal of Economic Issues. 28, 1 (March 9), 25–66
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