• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

This volume presents the reader with a stimulating rich tapestry of essays exploring the nature of action and intentionality, and discussing their role in human development. As the contributions make clear, action is an integrative concept that forms the bridge between our psychological, biological, and sociocultural worlds. Action is also integrative in the sense of entailing motivational, emotional, and cognitive systems, and this integration too is well represented in the chapters. Action is defined, and distinguished from behavior, according to its intentional quality. Thus, a constantly recurring theme in the volume involves the dialectic of action-intentionality, and specifically the questions of how and when these concepts are to be distinguished.

Free Fantasies about the Future and the Emergence of Developmental Goals
Free fantasies about the future and the emergence of developmental goals
GabrieleOettingen

Action-theoretical models and research provide a new framework for analyzing questions of human development across the life span (Brandtstädter, 1998). Action theories as introduced by psychologists of motivation, social psychologists, and personality psychologists (for summaries, see Gollwitzer & Bargh, 1996; Locke & Latham, 1990; Pervin, 1989) focus on how people's goals guide their actions. More specifically, action theories analyze such phenomena as the monitoring of goal pursuit (Carver & Scheier, 1998), the evaluation of goal attainment (Bandura, 1991), the mastery of increasing difficulties (Wright & Brehm, 1989), and the responding to and coping with failure (Bandura, 1991; Carver & Scheier, 1981, 1982, 1998; Taylor ...

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