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 8: Life Planning: Anticipating Future Life Goals and Managing Personal Development
Life Planning: Anticipating Future Life Goals and Managing Personal Development
Why do individuals actively anticipate and make plans about future life events or life goals? Motivational theories suggest that anticipatory planning serves several purposes. It reduces uncertainty, helps the individual to get over initial problems in starting work on a goal, establishes a mind-set conducive to achieving the goal, and helps to minimize stress for the individual and others (e.g., Aspinwall & Taylor, 1997; Buehler, Griffin, & MacDonald, 1997; Gollwitzer, 1996). Planning also provides the individual with a means of testing alternative actions without actually evoking the physical resources or social and personal costs necessary to engage in the action (Austin & Vancouver, 1996). Furthermore, once ...