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 3: Selectivity in Life-Span Development: Biological and Societal Canalizations and Individuals' Developmental Goals
Selectivity in Life-Span Development: Biological and Societal Canalizations and Individuals' Developmental Goals
In recent years we have proposed a life-span theory of control that starts from the assumption of two fundamental challenges to the regulation of behavior and ontogenetic change in particular (Heckhausen, 1999; Heckhausen & Schulz, 1993, 1995; Schulz & Heckhausen, 1996). These two [Page 68]fundamental challenges are the regulation of selectivity and the compensation of failure and loss. Our life-span theory specifies two types of control behavior, primary and secondary control, that the individual can employ, jointly and in a refined distribution of regulatory tasks, to master the challenges of developmental selectivity and failure compensation (regarding our model of optimization by primary ...