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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Personal causation relies on translating goals into goal-directed behavior. This chapter addresses how humans generate a goal-directed behavior, that is, how they initiate and control intentional, goal-directed actions. In particular, it discusses how anticipated action effects are integrated with motor patterns, so to guide future effect-driven actions, and how action intentions struggle with overlearned habits. It argues that intentional and conscious processes typically precede, rather than accompany, intentional actions, and that the experience of personal agency and the identification of action errors are based on a comparison between expected and actual action effects. A final outlook addresses the implications of increasing insight into cognitive embodiment and of increasing interdisciplinarity for the study of human action control and personal causation.

Keywords: intentional action, human action control, habit, action, agency, consciousness

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