Motivational foundations of behavioral confirmation

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This chapter discusses the motivational foundations of behavioral confirmation. Functional analyses have the potential to advance theory and research on social perception and interpersonal behavior. They constitute an explicit recognition of the motivational and purposive agendas that guide and direct human thoughts, feelings, and actions, and they speak directly to the mediational mechanisms and guiding processes involved in the enactment of these motivational agendas. Functionalist perspective possesses considerable explanatory power in diverse domains of human functioning. The chapter emphasizes that functional analysis shares much in common with related treatments of the roles of needs, motives, plans, and goals in understanding cognitive and behavioral processes in the social realm. The diverse approaches to human motivation have their points of individuation. It is the commonalities of these approaches that may provide the most compelling testimony to the power of motivational approaches to understand individual and social function. An analysis of psychological functions in future may help to understand the motivational foundations of the chain of events in behavioral confirmation scenarios; it may also be possible for a functional analysis to provide a motivational perspective on the dynamic interplay of cognitive, behavioral, and interpersonal processes in social interaction and interpersonal relationships.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-114
Number of pages48
JournalAdvances in Experimental Social Psychology
Issue numberC
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author’s research on behavioral confirmation in social interaction has been supported over the years by National Science Foundation Grants SOC 75-13872, BNS 77-1 1346. BNS 82-07632, BNS 87-18558, and DBC 91-20973. Preparation of this manuscript has been supported by a fellowship


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