©1998 Edward G. Rozycki
Project Using Cue, Concern, Control
Examining the Rationale Given to Support an Intervention
edited 4/2/12
See Related article:
Rationales for Intervention: From Test to Treatment to Policy


1. Formulation. Imagine a conversation such as

Person A:"We have to do something about (a problem) P"

Person B: "What do you suggest?"

Person A: "We should do I (an intervention) to deal with P."

Here some situation perceived as a problem, P, by A is being addressed. A wants to make an intervention, I, to deal with it.

2. You are A. State Your Problem. Propose an Intervention.

3. Analysis: Examine the problem using the Cue, Control, Concern Questions.

a. Cue: what is the indicator of the problem, P? (Answer the following questions:}

(change in indicator)1. What change in the indicator has occurred that makes it appropriate to intervene now?

(significance of change in indicator) 2. Is the change significant? Or is it an accidental or random variation?

(externality of indicator) 3. Is the change really an indicator of something beyond itself?

(trustworthiness of indicator) 4. Is A being tricked? Can someone be manipulating the "indicator" to make it appear as if there were a problem?

b. Concern: Why is A concerned? (What business is it of his/hers?)

(interests) 1. Is A concerned for someone's welfare?

(obligations) 2. What obligation does A have to intervene?

(liabilities) 3. What costs will A bear by not intervening?

c. Control: What reason does A have to believe intervention, I, will work?

(non-naturalness of intervention) 1. Will any attempted change maintain itself, or will constant intervention be necessary?

(practicality of intervention) 2. Will the benefits of the intervention outweigh its costs?

(optimality of intervention) 3. Is the suggested intervention the best way to go about change?

4. Re-conceptualization of problem and intervention. Your analysis might show that what you thought was the problem was not clearly stated, or that what your intervention might be could be better formulated. If so, go back to step 2.

5. Narrative. After you have laid out your paper in outline form, rewrite it in as narrative a form as possible. You may number and letter subsections as you wish.