This serious, scholarly, yet lively, text, restores the concept of action to the central stage of the psychological agenda in an exploration of the growing tensions and conflicts between action and behaviour.
Theories of action are explored through careful consideration of a range of well-established and contemporary issues within psychology, with agentic improvement explored in terms of time management and counselling, and agentic malfunction through human error research.
A detailed and imaginative treatment is offered to the problems posed for agentic theory by the realities of masochism, obedience to authority, hypnosis and suicide.
The author takes every opportunity to relate classic studies and approaches, carried out within the discipline of psychology over the past century, to contemporary theoretical and methodological issues. He concludes on an optimistic note by setting out a heuristic framework for research, advocating an eclectic fusion of methods old and new.
DR JOHN L. SMITH
is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Sunderland where he has taught social psychology since completing his doctoral research with the Medical Research Council at their Social and
Psychology Unit at the University of Sheffield in the 1970s.