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Choice Group

This group is the first group in the Doing category as it is a precursor to our actions. It consists of the following areas:

  • Meaning is the root area of the group. This is based on an assertion that we choose something because it makes sense to us. To clarify, this is not to say that our choices are always meaningful in a big way. Certain choices and activities (e.g. having a glass of wine or watching TV) can have a meaning for us simply because they give us pleasure or enjoyment. This area is not concerned with meaning of life (which is not universal as not everybody believes in it) but with meaning that we create in our lives. Meaning is on the axis of this category and therefore belongs to both internal and external domains. This is because meaning arises from their interaction.
  • Personal freedom and Personal responsibility are two polar areas that regulate the scope of choice. ‘Personal’ is added to distinguish these terms from, for example, political freedom or social responsibility respectively. Personal freedom, or autonomy, is defined in this model as relative independence from psychological (inner) determinants and therefore it belongs to the internal domain. Personal responsibility means recognising that we affect the world and so it belongs to the external domain. Freedom and responsibility understood in this way complement each other. Note that Personal responsibility relates to Self-discipline, but cannot be reduced to it. Responsibility is possible even without self-discipline (e.g. you can act responsibly by avoiding tempting situations rather than exercising self-control); also, people with high self-discipline can have low personal responsibility (e.g. soldiers who just follow the orders of their superiors).
  • Deciding: the above three areas can be considered the conditions for making choices. Meaning is a driving force behind our choices, while personal freedom and personal responsibility play the role in expanding and restricting our choices. This area focuses on the actual process of making a choice, and belongs to both the external and internal domains.