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What is the Need for Competence?
What is the need for competence?

Why are perceptions of control so important to psychological functioning? Why are they connected to such positive emotions, like joy and enthusiasm, but also to such intense negative ones, like fear and depression? Why aren't perceptions of control simply cold cognitions, akin to causal reasoning? Why is loss of control such a devastating experience, resulting, in some species, even in death? Why are the effects of perceived control so widespread, seen across domains of life and across the life span? One answer can be framed using a meta-theoretical assumption: Perceived control reflects the fundamental human need for competence.

From this perspective, all humans come with an inborn desire to interact effectively with the environment and ...

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