Article

Self-Control

Ethan Kross and Darwin A. Guevarra

in Psychology

ISBN: 9780199828340
Published online April 2015 | | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199828340-0170
Self-Control

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One of the defining qualities that distinguish human beings from other species is self-control: the capacity to alter one’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors to align them with one’s goals. Given the centrality of self-control to the human condition, it should come as no surprise that psychologists have studied this process from a variety of perspectives. This article highlights these different viewpoints to provide the reader with the raw materials needed to build an integrative understanding of this construct. Researchers often use different labels (e.g., willpower, self-discipline, inhibitory control, self-regulation, affect regulation, behavior regulation, desire regulation, effortful control, coping, thought control, etc.) to refer to ostensibly similar processes. Although substantive differences distinguish some of these constructs, they are all centrally relevant to the concept of self-control. Therefore, this outline includes readings that pertain to many of these constructs. The outline begins with a General Overviews section, which lists Popular Science Books and Edited Volumes, Trade Books, and Monographs that provide overviews of the self-control literature. It then describes Conceptual Frameworks that either directly illuminate the self-control concept or review processes that underlie different aspects of self-control. These conceptual frameworks are cast at multiple levels of analysis, highlighting the range of perspectives that are relevant to understanding self-control. Next, the outline provides articles that review the psychology of the Self—a concept that is often overlooked in the self-control literature. The article then transitions to describing readings on several key Self-Control Processes. It provides citations for articles on the Origins and Developmental Trajectory of Self-Control and highlights the short- and long-term Implications of self-control. It concludes by highlighting three Current Directions—Self-Control Interventions, the Strength Model of Self-Control, and Wisdom, Emotional Intelligence, and the Importance of Flexibility.

Article.  9269 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Psychology ; Developmental Psychology ; Health Psychology ; History and Systems in Psychology ; Educational Psychology ; Social Psychology

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