Consciousness and Control: Not Identical Twins

Author: Hommel, Bernhard

Source: Journal of Consciousness Studies, Volume 14, Numbers 1-2, 2007 , pp. 155-176(22)

Publisher: Imprint Academic

Buy & download fulltext article:


Price: $29.34 plus tax (Refund Policy)


Human cognition and action are intentional and goal-directed, and explaining how they are controlled is one of the most important tasks of the cognitive sciences. After half a century of benign neglect this task is enjoying increased attention. Unfortunately, however, current theorizing about control in general, and the role of consciousness for/in control in particular, suffers from major conceptual flaws that lead to confusion regarding the following distinctions: (i) automatic and unintentional processes, (ii) exogenous control and disturbance (in a control-theoretical sense) of endogenous control, (iii) conscious control and conscious access to control, and (iv) personal and systems levels of analysis and explanation. Only if these flaws are overcome will a comprehensive understanding of the relationship between consciousness and control emerge.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Leiden University, Department of Psychology, Cognitive Psychology Unit, Wassenaarseweg 52, 2333 AK Leiden, The Netherlands., Email:

Publication date: January 1, 2007

Related content



Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content

Text size:

A | A | A | A
Share this item with others: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. print icon Print this page