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In: Perceived Control, Motivation, & Coping

Chapter 12: What are the Dangers of Intervening into the Competence System?

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What are the Dangers of Intervening into the Competence System?
What are the dangers of intervening into the competence system?

A needs theory of competence leads to the simple conclusion that the overarching goal of all interventions into the competence system should be to provide infants, children, adults, and the elderly with opportunities to exercise control, and should also shield them from perceptions and experiences of loss of control. It should be quickly pointed out that the competence system does not benefit from being “protected” from obstacles, resistance, failure, mistakes, ineffective attempts, difficult tasks, challenges, and negative events. Tasks of “just manageable difficulty,” which are replete with unsuccessful attempts, are the natural playground for the operation of the competence system, and dealing with them provides learning ...

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