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Commitment psychology

Postby Zulkihn В» 28.03.2020

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Trust: The limits of human moral View all 13 Articles. This paper provides a starting point for psychological research on the sense of commitment within the context of joint action. We begin by formulating three desiderata: to illuminate the motivational factors that lead agents to feel and act committed, to pick out the cognitive processes and situational factors that lead agents to sense that implicit commitments are in place, and to illuminate the development of an understanding of commitment in ontogeny.

In order to satisfy these three desiderata, we propose a minimal framework, the core of which is an analysis of the minimal structure of situations which can elicit a sense of commitment. We then propose a way of conceptualizing and operationalizing the sense of commitment, and discuss cognitive and motivational processes which may underpin the sense of commitment.

The phenomenon of commitment is a cornerstone of human social life. In the following, our aim is to fill in this gap. To this end, we will develop a framework which specifies, on the one hand, the cognitive and motivational processes that lead people to sense that they or others might be committed and to act committed, and on the other hand, the general structure of situations which elicit the sense of commitment, as well as situational factors which modulate the sense of commitment.

It will be useful to begin with a few conceptual preliminaries. In particular, it is important to distinguish among different types of commitment. To this end, Herbert Clark has proposed to taxonomize commitments according to their recipient. Thus, one can make a commitment to oneself self-commitments or one can make a commitment to another agent interpersonal commitments.

In what follows, we will put aside self-commitments and focus on interpersonal commitments. Among interpersonal commitments, one can distinguish unilateral commitments in which case one agent makes a commitment to a second agent but the second agent is not committed to anything from mutual commitments in which case she is also committed to something.

Furthermore, mutual commitments can be either complementary as when Peter is committed to digging a hole as long as Jim is committed to paying him for it or joint Peter and Jim are committed to a shared goal, such as digging the hole together.

In the context of joint action which will be our focus, it is this latter kind of commitment i. What, if anything, do these different types of commitment have in common? According to a standard philosophical conception of commitment, a commitment is a relation among at least one committed agent 1 , at least one agent to whom the commitment has been made, and an action which the committed agent is obligated to perform because she has given an assurance to the second agent that she will do so, and the second agent has acknowledged this under conditions of common knowledge 2 Austin, ; Searle, ; Scanlon, ; Shpall, For example, Susie has an obligation to Jennifer to pick up the kids from school because she Susie has expressed her willingness to do so, and Jennifer has acknowledged this.

In the canonical case, the expression is effectuated by means of the speech act of promising. This conception provides a clear characterization of paradigm cases of commitment i. In this paper, however, our aim is not normative but psychological — namely, to provide a starting point for investigating the cognitive and motivational processes that lead people to feel and act committed, and to expect others to do so as well. Our contribution to this project will be to explore what role commitment may play in joint action understood broadly , i.

The paper is structured as follows. The core of this framework is an analysis of the minimal structure of situations which can elicit a sense of commitment, and a set of factors which can modulate the sense of commitment. The concept of commitment in the strict sense, to which we referred in the previous section, provides a clear set of criteria on which to base normative judgments.

The account that we will be developing here, in contrast, is of a psychological nature: to provide a starting point for investigating the cognitive and motivational processes that lead people to feel and act committed, and to expect others to do so as well. In order to structure this investigation, it will be helpful to specify three desiderata for a psychological account of the sense of commitment in joint action.

First, a psychological account of the sense of commitment should illuminate the factors that lead agents to follow through on commitments when alternative options arise that may be more attractive than the actions to which they are committed. If Sally makes a commitment to Frank, which Frank does not think Sally is motivated to fulfill, then it is difficult to see why Frank should consider the commitment to be credible and why he should expect Sally to perform the action she is committed to.

In some cases, this type of problem can be solved by externalizing commitments. For example, Frank and Sally might sign a contract that entails a daunting fine for reneging on their commitment.

This changes the payoff structure for the available action options, making reneging a less attractive option than it otherwise would be.

As a result, both parties are motivated to stick to the planned course of action, and each believes the other also to be so motivated. Thus, it is easy to see how commitments can be motivated, and therefore also credible, when they are externalized. We do not usually sign contracts when agreeing to take a walk together. Yet people often engage in and follow through on such commitments. Why do they do so? A philosopher might reply by observing that they do so because commitments give rise to obligations Searle, ; Gilbert, , a , b.

But what motivates people to act as they are obligated to? A theoretical account of the sense of commitment should illuminate the factors which motivate people to honor commitments and which thereby make commitments credible in everyday life — even in the absence of contracts 5.

Many commitments work not only without contracts but also without explicit agreements or promises Ledyard, ; Sally, ; they are implicit. To illustrate, consider the following example, adapted from one discussed by the philosopher Margaret Gilbert b , p. In this case, there has been no explicit agreement to smoke a cigarette and talk together every day, and yet one might nevertheless have the sense that an implicit commitment is in place, and that Polly has violated that implicit commitment.

This will depend on further details about the case. For example, if Polly and Pam have smoked and talked together every day for 2 or 3 weeks, Polly might feel only slightly obligated to offer an explanation, but she would likely feel more strongly obligated if the pattern had been repeated for 2 or 3 years.

Thus, it seems that mere repetition can give rise to an implicit sense of commitment. In such a case, both parties are likely to think that an explanation, and perhaps even an apology, is all the more in order. The concept of commitment in the strict sense does not provide any basis for identifying these factors.

Indeed, the concept of commitment in the strict sense does not provide any grounds for expecting that the sense of commitment could be modulated in a graded fashion.

Let us emphasize that the question of primary importance for psychology here is not whether or when implicit commitments should be counted as genuine commitments.

Rather, the main concern is what factors lead people to feel and act committed, and to expect the same of others. It seems to us to be a striking feature of human sociality that people often feel and act committed, and expect the same of others, even when they would deny that any obligations or entitlements are in place. A psychological account of the sense of commitment should illuminate this feature. The third desideratum pertains to the ontogenetic origins of commitment.

Specifically, if one conceptualizes commitment as philosophers have traditionally done Searle, ; Gilbert, , b ; Shpall, , it is questionable whether commitment is applicable to young children. This is because the strict sense of commitment put forward by Gilbert , b , Searle , and other philosophers presupposes an understanding of common knowledge: an agent only undertakes a commitment to contribute to a joint action if she expresses her willingness to do so to some other agent, who acknowledges that expression under conditions of common knowledge.

Although one should be wary about ascribing the requisite cognitive sophistication to understand these kinds of conceptual relations to very young children, there is evidence that very young children may in fact understand and respond to commitments in some sense. By 18 months, children can solve joint problem-solving tasks, in which two agents must perform complementary actions at the same time in order to achieve a joint goal, such as pulling at opposite ends of a tube in order to open it up and retrieve the stickers hidden inside, Warneken et al.

These tasks implement a general structure in which it would be natural for the agents, if they were adults, to sense that an implicit commitment were in place: since each individual action is only efficacious if the other action is also performed, each agent is implicitly relying on the other to contribute her part. It is interesting to note, then, that when the experimenter abruptly abandoned the joint action, many of the 18 month-olds attempted to re-engage him. Interestingly, 3 year-olds, but not 2 year-olds, protested significantly more when a commitment had been violated than when there had been no commitment.

In Experiment 2 of the same study, the tables were turned and the children were presented with an enticing outside option that tempted them to abandon the joint action. The children were less likely to succumb to the temptation if a commitment had been made. In a study by Hamann et al. Most of the children nevertheless remained engaged, suggesting that they sensed an obligation to remain engaged until both achieved their goal 6.

One interpretation of these findings is that children, contra the aforementioned theoretical reservations, do understand commitments in the strict sense by around 3. While this may well be correct, there are also findings indicating that a high degree of caution is warranted here. Consider a study conducted by Mant and Perner , in which children were presented with vignettes describing two children on their way home from school, Peter and Fiona, who discuss whether to meet up and go swimming later on.

In one condition, they make a joint commitment to meet at a certain time and place, but Peter decides not to go after all, and Fiona winds up alone and disappointed. In the other condition, they do not make a joint commitment, because Fiona believes that her parents will not let her. She is then surprised that her parents do give her permission, and she goes to the swimming pool to meet Peter.

In this condition, too, however, Peter decides not to go after all, so again Fiona winds up alone and disappointed. The children in the study, ranging from 5 to 10 years of age, were then asked to rate how naughty each character was. The finding was that only the oldest children with a mean age of 9. This may seem late, but it is in fact consistent with the findings of a study by Astington , who reported that children under 9 fail to understand the conditions under which the speech act of promising gives rise to commitments 7.

In view of the unclear pattern of findings, we propose the following approach to modeling the developmental trajectory. Our more psychological approach i. In addressing the three desiderata identified in the previous section, our starting point will be a characterization of the minimal structure of situations in which a subjective sense of commitment can arise.

This minimal structure can be expressed as follows:. Clearly, conditions i and ii specify a broader category than that of commitment in the strict sense. Nevertheless, situations with this structure may elicit a sense of commitment on the part of one or both agents. We propose to conceptualize the sense of commitment as follows:.

In those cases, the commitment may be mutual, with each agent having a sense of being committed as well as a sense that the other agent is committed. It is also worth emphasizing that the two agents ME and YOU may differ with respect to their sense of commitment.

As already stated, conditions i and ii specify a broader category than that of commitment in the strict sense. In particular, while commitments in the strict sense arise intentionally Gilbert, , an agent can come to have a sense of commitment to doing X without performing any intentional action at all. Consider the following example. If Carla is running to catch the elevator and the door is beginning to close, and Victor is standing in the elevator, Carla may have a sense that Victor is committed to pressing the button to keep the door open simply, because he is standing next to the button and pressing it would be a crucial contribution to her goal.

And Victor may have a sense that he is committed to doing so simply because he believes that Carla expects him to. Moreover, there are also many cases in which a sense of commitment is triggered as a side effect of an intentional action. For example, Sam is cleaning up the living room and picks up a ball that had been lying on the floor.

As it happens, his dog Woofer notices this and bounds over to him, apparently ready to play fetch. Sam was not intending to play fetch and does not particularly desire to, but may now feel obliged to, because he has generated an expectation on the part of Woofer that they will now play fetch together.

Thus the unintentional generation of expectations can lead individuals to sense that a commitment is in place. Of course, if Sam intentionally makes eye contact with Woofer and waves the ball around in the air, he thereby generates a high degree of commitment to playing fetch. And if Woofer is sensitive to these cues, they may lead him to have a high expectation that Sam is now going to play fetch with him.

Another necessary feature of commitment in the strict sense which can be absent in instances in which a sense of commitment is elicited is common knowledge. As already noted above, commitment in the strict sense requires that it be common knowledge that at least one agent i.

How commitment shapes our lives: Heidi Reeder at TEDxAmmon, time: 16:13
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Glover, J. Thus, the very detection more info the minimal structure would tend to reduce both the real uncertainty psychology the perceived uncertainty about crucial contributions being made. Crawford, Commitment. Boyle, R. An investigation of the antecedents of lateness behavior: The effects of attitudes, individual differences, and context.

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Instrumental and interpersonal determinants of relationship satisfaction and commitment in industrial markets: Journal of Business Research Vol 58 5 May In the following, our aim is to fill in this gap. Gasper, D.

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Postby Kazralmaran В» 28.03.2020

Erb, C. We used this psychology of the minimal structure as a starting point for discussing the cognitive and motivational processes constituting a commitment of commitment. Joint action: bodies and minds moving together. We began by formulating three desiderata: to identify the motivational commitment that lead agents to feel and act committed, to commitmeent out the cognitive mechanisms and this web page factors that lead agents to sense that implicit http://mosaverha.tk/movie/piano-transparent.php are in place, and to illuminate the development of an understanding of commitment in ontogeny. Dispositional and attitudinal explanations of counterproductivity in the workplace.

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Postby Dotilar В» 28.03.2020

Similarly, Carpenterp. In the previous section, we offered an explanation of why ME psychology sense that YOU is committed in instances in which the minimal structure is instantiated, i. Galotti, Commitment. Baldo, T.

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Commitments: A game-theoretic and logical perspective: Cognitive Science Quarterly Vol 2 Finkenberg, M. How to do Things with Words.

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