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.
Chapter 12: Psychological Control in Later Life: Implications for Life-Span Development
Psychological Control in Later Life: Implications for Life-Span Development
Old age is associated with objective losses in physiological, cognitive, and behavioral functioning (for a review, see Rowe & Kahn, 1987) that are likely to weaken the perception of control (Schulz, Heckhausen, & O'Brien, 1994). In fact, many theorists and researchers hypothesize that sense of control declines in old age (e.g., Rodin, 1987; Thompson & Spacapan, 1991). Yet the overall literature on sense of control across the [Page 346]life span contains equivocal findings. There is evidence for decreasing, stable, and increasing sense of control with age (Lachman, 1986b; Rodin, Timko, & Harris, 1985). Many of these conflicting findings may stem from different definitions of sense ...