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SpringerOpen

SpringerOpen, launched in June 2010, includes Springer’s portfolio of 200+ peer-reviewed fully open access journals across all areas of science. In August 2012, due to the growing demand for open access and the success of our SpringerOpen journals, we expanded our offering to open access books. Published under the SpringerOpen brand they complement our established open access journal portfolio. SpringerOpen journals and books are made freely and permanently available online immediately upon publication. They are subject to high-level peer review, author and production services ensuring quality and reliability of the work. Authors publishing with SpringerOpen retain the copyright to their work, licensing it under a Creative Commons license. To cover the cost of the publication process, all SpringerOpen journals and books charge an open access fee. Publishing with SpringerOpen enables authors to widen their readership, comply with open access mandates, retain copyright, and benefit from Springer’s trusted brand!

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Why Knowing What To Do Is Not Enough

This open access book sets out to explain the reasons for the gap between “knowing” and “doing” in view of self-reliance, which is more and more often expected of citizens. In today’s society, people are expected to take responsibility for their own lives and be self-reliant. This is no easy feat. They must be on constant high alert in areas of life such as health, work and personal finances and, if things threaten to go awry, take appropriate action without further ado. What does this mean for public policy? Policymakers tend to assume that the government only needs to provide people with clear information and that, once properly informed, they will automatically do the right thing. However, it is becoming increasingly obvious that things do not work like that. Even though people know perfectly well what they ought to do, they often behave differently. Why is this? This book sets out to explain the reasons for the gap between ‘knowing’ and ‘doing’. It focuses on the role of non-cognitive capacities, such as setting goals, taking action, persevering and coping with setbacks, and shows how these capacities are undermined by adverse circumstances. By taking the latest psychological insights fully into account, this book presents a more realist perspective on self-reliance, and shows government officials how to design rules and institutions that allow for the natural limitations in people’s ‘capacity to act’.

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