Knowledge and Action

Volume 9 of the series Knowledge and Space pp 99-111

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.


How Much Knowledge Is Necessary for Action?

  • Joachim FunkeAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, Heidelberg University Email author 


The relation between knowledge and action is a delicate one. Is acting possible without knowledge? Can people act against their knowledge? Action produces knowledge, but at the same time knowledge is required for action. This chapter provides a review of different conceptions concerning the relation between knowledge and action. Three theoretical frameworks are presented: the theory of planned behavior, the unconscious thought theory, and the option-generation framework. The relation between knowledge and action is illustrated with an example from problem-solving research.


Knowledge and action Theory of planned behavior Unconscious thought theory Option-generation framework Problem-solving Acquisition of knowledge Types of knowledge