Content 1. Development of agentic power, 2. Forethought, intentionality, reactiveness, and self-reflection, 3. Collective efficacy: shared belief in agency, 4. Applied collective agency
1. Development of agentic power
Theories like radical behaviorism and computerized cognitivism lack the recognition of human agency as a deliberative cognitive capacity that is consciously interacting with the surrounding. However, humans are not mindlessly and automatically functioning. From childhood, individuals develop through social interactions an understanding of causal effects of their actions and eventually about their agentic capability with which they can significantly influence their environment and even shape the result from seemingly fortuitous events . Humans are at the same time the creations and creators of the social system .
2. Forethought, intentionality, reactiveness, and self-reflection
Four components represent agency respectively the incentivization system that allows people to act goal-oriented even in case of challenges. These are the reflection on consequences of an action (so-called forethought), the choice of an action to achieve an expected outcome (i.e., intentionality), the adaptation of the action to current circumstances (i.e., reactiveness), and the judgement about the appropriateness of the taken action also in relation to the social feedback (i.e., self-reflection) .
3. Collective efficacy: shared belief in agency
While the majority of research focused on personal and proxy agency, growing globalization increases the interest in the study of collective influences on the national and individual life . In proxy agency, people seek representative actions from others. In collective agency people act as a group collaboratively to reach a common goal . Most vital for the power of agency is the belief in the possibility to achieve a goal through the envisioned actions ). Efficacy beliefs allow strategic thinking. Shared beliefs in the ability of a group are at the core of collective agency. Importantly, group efficacy is a distinct variable rather than just the sum of individual perceptions of efficacy and therefore needs to be measured by how a group as a whole organizes and performs in the course of collective behavior .
4. Applied collective agency
Mature collective efficacy is positively correlated with adaptive innovation capacity of organizations in global marketplaces . In health education, collective problem solving is used for better treatment decisions . Regardless of culture or nationality, increased perceived self-efficacy leads to higher performance realization. A strong belief in one’s power could be directed towards any moral type of goal. Studies indicate, though, that high self-efficacy is supportive of a pro-social attitude . Consequently, to promote positive change, it is possible (and advisable) to improve individuals’ and groups’ agency . Agency might be superior over passivity as it seems more harm is caused by passive obedience rather than by active reaction . Personal, proxy, and collective forms of agency are all concomitantly required, although different cultures, generations, and socioeconomic situations weigh them differently  They should, therefore, be addressed in combination to achieve most successful interventions .
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