Intentions and Communication: Cognitive Strategies, Metacognition and Social Cognition

  • Michela Balconi


Communicating involves different complex processes. A prerequisite of communication is the intentional planning of the entire process, that is, the conscious selection of meanings, adequate behavioral strategies, and communicative goals. In particular, we define an intentionalization process as a dynamic operation that actively involves speaker and listener: the former is engaged in the formulation and expression of his or her own intention to produce an effect on the listener (intentionalization); the listener, in turn, needs to interpret the speaker’s communicative intention (re-intentionalization) [1, 2, 3]. An intentionalization process consists of a number of functions that allow the communicative process to take place: the definition of communicative goals; the establishment of behavioral strategies for communication performance; the monitoring and self-monitoring of the communicative process; and the feedback produced by the interlocutor. The entire system makes use of a set of coordination competences that are essential to the regulation of intentions. In particular, the articulation of intentional systems requires the activity of attentional mechanisms aiming, on the one hand, to select information and to produce appropriate representations (representational communicative level), and, on the other hand, to organize the enactor system (communicative actions planning). Those operations implicate the activity of central coordination mechanisms, intended as the meta-level-controlled processes that require the speaker’s voluntary and conscious actions [4].In this chapter, we first focus on the relationship between intentionality and communicative intentions, highlighting the role of consciousness in communication.


Executive Function Social Cognition Cognitive Strategy Motor Preparation Phonological Loop 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michela Balconi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCatholic University of MilanMilanItaly

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