Deutsch: Bereitschaft / Español: disposición / Português: prontidão / Français: disposition / Italiano: prontezza

Readiness is a condition that exists when maturation has advanced enough to allow the rapid acquisition of a particular skill. A time when a child's physical, cognitive, social, and emotional maturation is at a level to undertake new learning or to engage in a more complex, demanding type of activity or relationship.

In psychology, readiness refers to the degree of preparedness or predisposition individuals have to engage in a particular behavior, undergo a change, or perform a specific task. This concept is crucial in understanding how and when behavior change occurs and in designing interventions that facilitate this change effectively.


Readiness encompasses both psychological and situational factors that motivate or enable individuals to initiate and sustain actions. It is often discussed in the context of change management, learning, and therapy. In therapeutic settings, readiness can dictate how responsive a patient might be to treatment, impacting the effectiveness of interventions. In educational psychology, readiness refers to the optimal time for learning new information, when a person is inherently motivated and capable of absorbing new knowledge.

Application Areas

Readiness is a key concept across several areas within psychology:

  • Educational psychology: Focuses on assessing when a student is ready to learn specific content, ensuring that teaching methods and educational materials meet the developmental stage of the learner.
  • Clinical psychology and counseling: Utilizes the concept in therapeutic settings, especially in models like the Transtheoretical Model of Change, which posits that individuals move through different stages of readiness when changing behavior.
  • Organizational psychology: Applies readiness in managing change within organizations, assessing when employees are prepared to adopt new processes or cultural shifts.

Well-Known Examples

One of the most prominent models that incorporate readiness is the Transtheoretical Model of Change, developed by Prochaska and DiClemente. This model outlines stages from precontemplation to maintenance, identifying the readiness levels at each stage to effectively tailor interventions for habit change or recovery from addiction.

Treatment and Risks

In clinical settings, assessing readiness is crucial:

  • Risks: If interventions are implemented when an individual is not ready, they may be less effective or even counterproductive, potentially leading to resistance or disengagement.
  • Treatment strategies: In therapy, motivational interviewing is a technique used to enhance readiness by resolving ambivalence and encouraging a commitment to change.

Symptoms, Therapy, and Healing

  • Assessment of readiness: Involves identifying psychological readiness for change, which can include a willingness to discuss issues openly or engage in self-exploration.
  • Therapy techniques: Adjusting approaches based on readiness, such as more directive methods for those less ready and collaborative methods for those who are more prepared.
  • Healing process: Involves moving through stages of readiness, each bringing individuals closer to achieving their goals and sustaining change.



In psychology, readiness is a critical factor in determining the success of educational, therapeutic, and organizational interventions. It reflects an individual's willingness and ability to engage in a behavior change, adapt to new situations, or learn new information. Understanding and assessing readiness allow for more effective and personalized approaches in facilitating change and promoting growth.


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