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Intention and Performance

Intention is a person's aspiration to his or her goals. Neisser (1976) argues that cognition, such as knowing and understanding, occurs only in the context of purposeful activity. We normally have a strong will to self-actualize what we want to become. Thus, intentions become the purposeful activities that our visions create. Intentions are normally driven in part by engagement.

Intention seems to characterize mind; while natural objects, such as atoms, chairs, or planets, do not have intentions, rather they are controlled by the natural laws. The forming of an intention seems to imply a free will and the ability to choose.


Neisser, U. (1976). Cognition and Reality. San Francisco, CA: W. H. Freeman.