The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior

The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior

The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior

The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior

Synopsis

Searching for an explanation to human superiority, Friedman and Lackey offer their General Theory of Purposeful Behavior: People seek control as an end in itself--the ability to make accurate predictions is the means to that end. This tight knit theory defines the dynamic relationship between and among predictive processes responsible for human control and success. A distinctly different view of intelligence, this volume includes discussions on "Human Motivation," "Gaining Control," "Maximizing Control," and "Impediments to Control." Important implications of the theory include "Achieving Success," "Working Effectively," "Educating For Control," and "The Pursuit of Happiness."

Excerpt

If the construction of a new theory is difficult (and it is), then deciding how to present it in a useful way to a general audience is even more difficult.

The natural tendency of the theorist is to present the step-by-step reasoning behind every definition, assumption, postulate, and proposition and to cast the final work in a parsimonious but very detailed system of inference. Possible applications of the theory could then be addressed in later chapters of the book. Presented in this way, the first five or six chapters would resemble a geometry text. The problem is that very few people want to read geometry books. That is not to say that many are not interested in the application of geometric principles in everyday life, it is just that they have less interest in how the principles were derived. On the other hand, one cannot appreciate the application of theoretical principles without some understanding of the principles themselves. And, of course, there are people who do want to follow the formal development and exposition of the theory; in other words, they do like geometry books.

In our presentation of The Psychology of Human Control: A General Theory of Purposeful Behavior, we have attempted to satisfy both types of audiences (and in so doing, may satisfy neither) by dividing the book into three major parts: an overview, implications, and anatomy. In the first part, we have described the theory in a general way but have included sufficient detail and examples for the reader to gain a clear understanding of the major ideas. In Part II we explain important implications of the theory. In Part III the formal development of the theory is explained in terms of its basic assumption, one corollary, and five propositions. Thus, the reader is free to read only Parts I and II or all three parts.

Prediction theory has been in development for over eighteen years. It began as a quest for an explanation of the higher mental functions that are central to . . .

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