According to common sense psychology our behaviour is determined by our will: what we do and its effects on the surrounding environment are the end result of our personal influence, our ability to think and act accordingly. In other words, our power to produce focused actions depends on the causal relationship linking thought and the deeds themselves and our responsibility over our thought processes. Cognitive neuroscience has studied extensively the association between cognitive processes and action, with results that often are surprising and diverge from common sense. How does the relationship between thought and action work? Are the person, the brain, and behaviour indissolubly tied to each other by cause-and-effect chains? This book explores the fascinating world of self-efficacy and describes the neurocognitive mechanisms that help shape the way we perceive ourselves as active and responsible individuals.
Michela Balconi teaches Neuropsychology of Communication at the Catholic University in Milan.