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The Sense of Agency$
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Patrick Haggard and Baruch Eitam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190267278

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190267278.001.0001

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Motivation from Control

Motivation from Control

A Response Selection Framework

(p.265) 12 Motivation from Control
The Sense of Agency

Noam Karsh

Baruch Eitam

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses motivation stemming from being a causal agent and its underlying mechanisms. It first reviews theories and findings from experimental psychology and neuroscience with the goal of forming an integrative conceptualization of motivation from control. It then differentiates between outcome and control feedback and defines control feedback as the information the system uses for agency decision (versus testing for the presence and value of an outcome). The chapter continues by explaining motivation from control using a response selection process that is sensitive to the amount of control afforded by each response of the response set, above and beyond the outcomes it is associated with. It ends by speculating how the proposed explanation may contribute to the understanding of currently unexplained behavioral phenomena such as stereotypical behaviors and self-mutilation.

Keywords:   control, agency, response selection, motivation, self-mutilation

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