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Book Chapter

Motivation and action: Introduction and overview


Heckhausen,  Heinz
MPI for Psychological Research (Munich, -2003), The Prior Institutes, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society;

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Heckhausen, J., & Heckhausen, H. (2018). Motivation and action: Introduction and overview. In Motivation and Action (3rd ed., pp. 1-14). Springer International Publishing.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-AD70-B
Human behavior is generally characterized by its striving for efficacy and organized into phases of goal engagement and disengagement. People’s motivation to pursue a particular goal depends on situational incentives and personal preferences as well as interactions between these two factors. Ideally, the motivational and volitional regulations of behavior take turns during different behavioral phases and are separated from each other in a clear way. They both ensure in their own way the functional optimization of goal selection, goal striving, and goal realization. Individuals differ tremendously with regard to their motivational and volitional regulation. Both types of behavioral regulation start developing during early childhood and are closely associated with the behavior of adult socialization agents. During youth and adulthood, individuals’ control striving becomes focused on their own development. It thus dynamically completes the dialectic interaction between individual and environment.