It was an impressive and moving experience to listen to the papers presented in this volume, to observe the interest and enthusiasm of the audience, and to chat with those who had been associated with Jack Atkinson at different stages in his career. The papers are solid contributions to knowledge about human motivation and reflect the way in which Atkinson fired several generations of students at the University of Michigan with enthusiasm for motivation research of very high quality. What is striking about the papers is their diversity: Clearly Jack fostered no orthodoxy but encouraged people to pursue a topic that had come up in the development of motivation theory and to think for themselves about it. And they have. So there are important new contributions here to topics that have long concerned him, to topics such as the dynamics of action, the relation of the situation and the person to action, of the role of a computer model in building a theory of motivation in action. This collection of papers is a testimony both to his ability to define important problems in the field of motivation that need resolution and to his energy and skill in encouraging others to work zealously to think through ways of resolving them. Figuring out the dynamics of action will be an enterprise that engages the attention of scholars as long as there are psychologists and people around for them to study, and I simply cannot imagine how anyone ever can attempt to deal with the problem without starting with the important theoretical and empirical contributions Atkinson and his associates have made of it.
KeywordsHuman Motivation Achievement Motivation Motivation Research Moving Experience Empirical Contribution
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