Themes and Issues in the Self-Regulation of Behavior: Charles S. Carver and Michael F. Scheier
We are interested in the structure of behavior. The questions that lie behind this interest are very abstract: What concepts are most useful in thinking about how people create overt action from intentions and desires? Once people have decided to do something, how do they stay on course? What processes account for the existence of feelings, as people make their way through the world? An idea that's been at the fore of our thinking since the 1970s is that behavior is a self-regulatory event.1 It's an attempt to make something happen that's already in mind, even if only vaguely so. This idea spawns several distinct themes, which are the core topic of this chapter.