Intentions, self-monitoring and abnormal experiences

Philosophical Psychology 10 (1):77 – 83 (1997)
Conscious awareness of intentionality is considered to be a product of specialized monitoring processes which distinguish intentional, goal-directed actions from unintentional, passive/ reactive actions. When goals are not met or unfavourable conditions arise, this ability to distinguish intentional and unintentional enables us to direct adaptive efforts towards either changing plans and goals or towards altering the environment. The formulation is discussed in relation to monitoring theories of consciousness and the concept of 'locus of control', and is developed to explain several common psychological disorders in terms of dysfunctional monitoring of intentions. It is suggested that it could provide a theoretical basis for psychological treatment methods.
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