Center for Interdisziplinary Research

Goals and Behavior: How goals, preferences and values influence cognition and action

Date: October 13 - 15, 2009

Organizers: Matthias Brand (Duisburg) and Christian Fiebach (Heidelberg)

One of the most important characteristics of humans, distinguishing us from other animals, is our capability of willed, goal-directed behavior. Research in cognitive science, as well as in many other disciplines, is directed toward understanding this unique achievement of mankind. However, our approaches are often-necessarily-reductionistic, focusing on tractable and empirically defined conditions that are far from a deep understanding of goal-directed behavior. In addition, it appears easier to understand those cognitive mechanisms that help us achieve goals (often termed 'executive functions'), then to understand the nature of goals as such or their direct influences on behavior. These problems in understanding goal-directed behavior are aggravated by the fact that the term goal is in itself elusive, referring to many different states, events, or things that can function as goals. The workshop "Goals and Behavior" aims at bringing together researchers from different research areas and research traditions, such as cognitive psychology, economics, philosophy, or social psychology, and interfacing them by their joint interest in goals, values, motives, or preferences, as well as in the mechanisms related to goal. This interdisciplinary discussion aims at advancing our understanding of goal directed behavior and at developing novel research strategies.

ZiF - Center for Interdisciplinary Research - Homepage > List of ZiF Workshops > ZiF:Workshops 2009 >