Science

The consulting approach at PAWLIK Consultants is based on the Action Control Model developed by Prof. Dr. Julius Kuhl.

Individual personality traits

The founder of the Action Control Model is Professor Dr. Julius Kuhl, a motivational scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich and at the University of Osnabrück. In more than 25 years of research (which included the use of imaging techniques), he succeeded not only in visualizing the psychological processes and functions that give rise to individual personality traits, but also in rendering these processes and functions measurable.

The Action Control Model

The Action Control is at the core of all PAWLIK’s consulting work in the personnel diagnostics field.

It differentiates between four cognitive macrosystems:

  1. one for the deliberate processing, regulating and acting from an overview perspective;
  2. one for conscious thinking and planning;
  3. one for the unconscious regulation of our actions; and
  4. one for perceiving things in detail and processing them via the senses.

Individual personality traits

The founder of the Action Control Model is Professor Dr. Julius Kuhl, a motivational scientist at the Max-Planck Institute for Psychological Research in Munich and at the University of Osnabrück. In more than 25 years of research (which included the use of imaging techniques), he succeeded not only in visualizing the psychological processes and functions that give rise to individual personality traits, but also in rendering these processes and functions measurable. Using targeted personnel diagnostics methods based on the Model, we assess a candidate’s professional experience and expertise as well the degree to which his/her personality is a good match for your company.

The four brain systems

The action control process is based on recent findings in the field of personality research. It represents the cycle that needs to take place in our brains in order for us to turn intentions into actions. The Model divides the brain into four macrosystems (see the four boxes in the image on the right) with different processing and regulatory functions. How we receive and process information and how effective we are in our work depends largely on these systems and their tendencies. The functions of the Action Control Model’s four macrosystems are as follows: one is for deliberate processing, steering and acting from an overview perspective; one is for conscious thinking and planning; one is for the unconscious implementation of our actions; and one is for perceiving things in detail and processing them via the senses. How strong these systems and the connections between them are in certain job-specific circumstances will reliably indicate what behavioral tendencies a candidate is likely to exhibit in his/her job, and how well-suited that candidate is to a leadership role.

Deriving energy from emotions and motives

Much like an engine needs fuel, the complex of macrosystems needs “action energy” in order to turn intentions into actions. Positive emotions such as eagerness, and other similarly activating emotions, get people’s action energy flowing. And this flow is something we can actively steer. How? By triggering the right emotions to consciously activate and control our brain’s four cognitive macrosystems. This means that we all have the means to adjust our behavior to the circumstances and conditions we find ourselves in, in order to act more effectively. A further factor that, if harnessed, enables us to individually influence our actions and behaviors, is found in the three fundamental human motives: power, performance and relationship. This combination of macrosystems and motives is what gives a person his/her individual personality, with its own strengths and areas of potential.

White Paper on the Action Control Model

If you would like to find out more about the Action Control Model, please read our white paper. In it you will find clear, straightforward descriptions of how people control their actions, how they generate strength and willpower, how they pursue goals and how they learn from experience.

The White Paper is divided into the following three chapters:

  • The Action Control Model
  • Volition
  • Learning

To download the white paper, click on the following link:

White Paper Action Control Model (pdf)