Voluntary action from the perspective of social-personality psychology


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BAYER, Ute C., Melissa J. FERGUSON, Peter M. GOLLWITZER, 2003. Voluntary action from the perspective of social-personality psychology. In: MAASEN, Sabine, ed. and others. Voluntary action : brains, minds, and sociality. Oxford:Oxford University Press, pp. 86-107. ISBN 978-0-19-852754-1

@incollection{Bayer2003Volun-10917, title={Voluntary action from the perspective of social-personality psychology}, year={2003}, isbn={978-0-19-852754-1}, address={Oxford}, publisher={Oxford University Press}, booktitle={Voluntary action : brains, minds, and sociality}, pages={86--107}, editor={Maasen, Sabine}, author={Bayer, Ute C. and Ferguson, Melissa J. and Gollwitzer, Peter M.} }

Voluntary action from the perspective of social-personality psychology eng Ferguson, Melissa J. Social-personality psychologists have traditionally devoted little attention to the theoretical and empirical analysis of the issue of voluntary action. We see two different reasons for this:<br />1 According to the behaviourist perspective (e.g. Tolman, 1925), purposeful or goaldirected behaviour was solely used as a descriptive category to refer to behaviour that was performed in a certain way (e.g. with great persistence).<br />2 Motivational theories prevalent in traditional social and personality psychology (e.g. Murray, 1938) conceptualized humans as being mechanically driven by basic needs and instincts, thus preventing an analysis of human action in terms of volition.<br />The issue of volition only began to receive more attention in the seventies, when humans were perceived as agentic according to social-cognitive theories of personality (Mischel, 1973; Bandura, 1977). In recent years, the issue of volition has been kindled in research on self-regulation, wherein a host of theories on goal setting and goal striving have emerged (reviewed by Oettingen & Gol1witzer, 2001). Voluntary action also became an important issue in research on person perception, as it matters whether an action is perceived as voluntary or not when inferences are made on a person's dispositions (Heider, 1958). Only very recently, however, has research begun to systematically examine the determinants of intentionality judgments with respect to others' and one's own behaviour (Malle et al., 2001). Finally, social psychologists have now addressed the issue of the causal impact of the phenomenal will by asking the question of whether it might simply be an illusion (Wegner & Wheatley, 1999). In the present chapter, we present and discuss these different lines of research. We begin with delineating different types of goal theories by pointing to the kind of self-regulatory problems they attempt to account for. We then turn to analysing the importance of the concept of intention for interpreting and understanding the behaviour of others. Finally, we address the question of what kind of psychological variables determine the experience of voluntary action (i.e. the phenomenal will). 2011-03-25T09:23:49Z First publ. in: Voluntary action / ed. by Sabine Maasen ... Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2003, pp. 86-107 Gollwitzer, Peter M. Ferguson, Melissa J. Gollwitzer, Peter M. Bayer, Ute C. Bayer, Ute C. 2003 deposit-license application/pdf 2011-03-25T09:23:49Z

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