1 The Concept of Action: A Historical Perspective.- I. Introduction.- II. Action theory and the organismic paradigm.- III. On autonomous man.- IV. Alternative action models.- A. Von Wright.- B. Louch.- V. A learning theory approach.- VI. Actions and psychological theory.- A. Pierre Janet.- B. Parsons.- VII. Intentional actions.- VIII. Structural developmental theory and action theory.- IX. The concept of "locus of control".- X. Plans of action.- XI. A developmental perspective.- XII. Conclusion.- 2 Determinants of Action: An Organismic and Holistic Approach.- I. Introduction.- II. Self-regulation.- III. How selfish is self-regulation?.- IV. Determinants of action.- V. An activity-levels model of development: Organism- environment interaction.- VI. Development of the self-system.- 3 Self-object Relation as a Basis of Human Development.- I. Introduction.- II. The formation of self-object relations.- III. The social nature of object relations.- A. Goodness-of-fit between action and object.- B. Exploration and the formation of object relationships.- C. Formation of self-object relations through social interaction.- D. Application of the sociohistorical approach.- IV. The other side of the coin: Social interaction as shared object relations.- V. Valences of objects.- A. Subjective valence.- B. Objective valence.- C. Abstract valence.- D. Transitions in development.- VI. General principles of self-object relations: Looking at the process.- A. Internalization versus externalization.- B. Subjectivization versus objectivization.- VII. Some developmental trends.- A. Hierarchy of object relations.- B. Decontextualization and separation.- C. From subjective valence to abstract valence and return.- VIII. Application of the action categories to children's role play: summarizing demonstration.- IX. Concluding remarks.- 4 The Role of Internalization in the Transfer of Mnemonic Strategies.- I. Introduction.- II. A framework for examining transfer.- A. The information-processing metaphor.- B. A developmental approach to strategy use and transfer.- III. Current research on the transfer of memory strategies.- A. Blind training.- B. Laissez-faire conditions.- C. Instruction and feedback studies.- D. Self-monitoring studies.- E. General principles training.- IV. The development of transfer skill: Analyzing variability.- A. Developmental changes in patterns of variability.- B. Variability in strategy use: Two examples.- C. Within-subject variability: Strategy change as a pathway through an experiment.- D. New methods for studying variability.- V. Children as adaptive memorizers: The Vygotskyan approach and the social nature of cognitive tasks.- 5 The Significance and Function of Students' Goals.- I. Introduction.- II. The significance of students' goals.- III. Dimensions of students' goals.- A. Sources of goals: Self and environment.- B. Orientiation: Toward self or task.- C. Perspective: Anticipation-evaluation.- D. Stable-changing.- IV. Changes and stabilities in students' goals.- A. The learning environment.- V. Conclusion.- 6 Interests and their Structural Development: Theoretical Reflections.- I. Introduction.- II. Philosophy of man: Relationships with the environment and action theory.- III. Affect and motivation.- IV. Social cognition.- V. Model of self-regulation.- A. Dynamics.- VI. The development of self-regulation: A selective review of the literature.- A. Self-regulation at the action level.- B. Self-regulation at the self-concept level (i.e., cognitions).- C. Self-regulation at the plan of action level.- VII. Conclusion.- 7 Interest Development as Structural Change in Person-Object Relationships.- I. Introduction.- II. Theoretical framework.- A. The person-environment relationship.- B. The interest object.- C. Structural components of interest-oriented person-object relationships.- D. Specific features of the interest-oriented person-object relationship.- III. Structural aspects of the development of interest.- IV. The interest gene
The Proliferation of Action Theories and Their Applications Jaan Valsiner and Louis Oppenheimer Our contemporary psychology becomes satiated by references to "action" and "activity. " Over the recent decade numerous theoretical perspectives have appeared. all of which operate with the notion of "action" (Ajzen. 1985; Eckensberger & Silbereisen. 1980; Keller & Reuss. 1984; Lantermann. 1980). each of which define it (see Oppenheimer. Chapter 1 of this volume). Likewise. the empirical literature in child psychology is filled with "action-theoretic" notions--facilitated by the ease of seeing children acting within their environments at a pace that surpasses that of even the most hyperactive adult! Of course. the empirical discourse in contemporary psychology is highly limited by its empiricistic emphasis. which dissociates empirical work from theoretically elaborate reasoning. At times. one can find in the literature an "anything goes" attitude--as long as the "umbrella" (theoretical) notion under which the given empirical study looks consensually respectable. the theoretical needs of "research" are satisfied. and psychologists can continue to accumulate "data" in their pursuit of "normal science. " The latter attitude to theory. of course, is but a convenient illusion. For any serious hope for progress in any discipline, the conceptual sphere must be explicitly developed further together with the empirical efforts. This sentiment led us to organize a symposium at the conference of the Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD) in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1987. The presentations at that symposium gave us the idea of editing a book on the origins of action.
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