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Definition Folk psychology explains human behavior on the basis of mental states, including beliefs, desires, and intentions.<ref name="Astington">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref><ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Mental mechanisms, including intention, explain behavior in that individuals are seen as actors who have desires and who attempt to achieve goals that are directed by beliefs.<ref name="Malle and Knobe">{{#invoke:Citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=journal }}</ref> Thus, an intentional action is a function to accomplish a desired goal and is based on the belief that the course of action will satisfy a desire.<ref name="Malle and Knobe" />

There is also a theoretical distinction between intentionality (intentional actions), and a mental state of intention for the future.<ref name="Searle">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }}</ref> Searle (1983) labeled these as intention-in-action and prior intention respectively. Prior intentions reflect forethought about intentions-in-action; prior intentions do not need to be carried out to be considered intentions.<ref name="Searle" /> An unfulfilled intention is a prior intention that has no action associated with it.<ref name="Searle" />

Astington (1993)<ref name="Astington" /> outlined the connections between mental states (desires, beliefs, and intentions) and actions carried out by an individual in order to reach a goal; these connections are referred to as the Intentional Chain. The proposed connective chain is that desire causes intention, which causes action, which causes outcome. The Intentional Chain maps the linking of a desire to the satisfaction of a goal via the intermediary intention.<ref name="Astington" />

Intention sections
Intro  Definition  The development of an understanding of intention  Gaze and attentional acts  Biological motion and inferring intention  Simulation theory  Intentions and behaviors  See also  References  External links  

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