A grand synthesis: aided by considering Systems 1 and 2 and incentive motivation

Toates, Frederick (2015). A grand synthesis: aided by considering Systems 1 and 2 and incentive motivation. In: Gruber, Craig W.; Clark, Matthew G.; Klempe, Sven Hroar and Valsiner, Jaan eds. Constraints of Agency: Explorations of Theory in Everyday Life. Annals of Theoretical Psychology (12). Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 95–111.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-10130-9_6

Abstract

It is argued that consideration of the notion of agency can be illuminated by incorporating into explanatory models: (1) the role of incentive motivation and (2) a distinction between two types of control underlying behaviour: System 1 (fast, unconscious, evolutionarily and developmentally old) and System 2 (slow, in humans consciously accessible, evolutionarily and developmentally new). Agency would seem to be associated with the activity of System 2. The implications of this distinction for assessing conscious agency in brain-damaged patients and in allocating criminal responsibility, amongst other phenomena, are discussed. Consideration is given to Klemm’s argument concerning the efficacy of consciousness in agency.

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