Agency and the Calibration of Motivated Behavior

Justin M. Moscarello, Catherine A. Hartley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

The controllability of positive or negative environmental events has long been recognized as a critical factor determining their impact on an organism. In studies across species, controllable and uncontrollable reinforcement have been found to yield divergent effects on subsequent behavior. Here we present a model of the organizing influence of control, or a lack thereof, on the behavioral repertoire. We propose that individuals derive a generalizable estimate of agency from controllable and uncontrollable outcomes, which serves to calibrate their behavioral strategies in a manner that is most likely to be adaptive given their prior experience.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)725-735
Number of pages11
JournalTrends in Cognitive Sciences
Volume21
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience

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