Looking for ways to increase discipline and improve your self-control? Here are five ways to build good habits. Self-control, an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses. As an executive function, self-control is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one's behavior in order to achieve specific goals.‎Research · ‎Counteractive · ‎Skinner's survey of · ‎Brain regions involved. SelfControl is a free and open-source application for macOS that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click "Start.".


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Counteractive[ edit ] Desire is an affectively charged motivation toward a certain object, person, or activity, but not limited to, that associated with pleasure or relief from displeasure.

New research looked at what people desire in real world settings. Over one self control, 7, self-reports of desires were collected self control indicated significant differences in desire frequency and strength, degree of conflict between desires and other goals, and the likelihood of resisting desire and success of the resistance.

The most common and strongly experienced desires are those related to bodily needs like eating, drinking, and sleeping. This is a big reason why self-control is considered to be a public speaker's worst nightmare.

Counteractive Self-Control Theory states that when presented with such a dilemma, we lessen the significance of the instant rewards while momentarily increasing the importance of our overall values.

Self-control - Wikipedia

When asked to rate the perceived appeal of different snacks before making a decision, people valued health bars over self control bars. However, when asked to do the rankings after having chosen a snack, there was no significant difference of appeal.

Further, when college students completed a self control prior to their course registration deadline, they ranked leisure activities as less important and enjoyable than when they filled out the survey after the deadline passed.


The stronger and more available the temptation is, the harsher the devaluation will be. An indication of unneeded food could also be over expenditure on certain types of consumption such as eating away from home.

Without knowing anything else about a food, the mere suggestion of good taste triggers counteractive self-control and prompted them to devalue the temptation in the name of health.

Further, when presented with the strong temptation of one large bowl of chips, participants both perceived the chips to be higher in calories and ate less of them than did participants who faced the weak temptation of three smaller chip bowls, even though both conditions represented the same amount of chips overall.

Weak temptations are falsely perceived to be less unhealthy, so self-control is not triggered and desirable actions are more often engaged in, supporting the counteractive self-control theory.

Satiation rates when eating self control on interactions of trait self-control and healthiness of the food. Those with low trait self-control satiated at the same pace regardless of health value. Further, when reading a description emphasizing the sweet flavor of their snack, participants with higher trait self-control reported a decrease in desire faster than they did after hearing a description of the healthy benefits of their snack.

Once again, those with low self-control satiated at the same rate regardless of health condition. Perceived unhealthiness of the food alone, regardless of actual health level, relates to faster satiation, but only for people with high trait self-control.

Whereas low level construals emphasize concrete, definitive ideas self control categorizations. Different construal levels determine our activation of self-control in response to temptations.

Self Control

One technique for inducing high-level construals is asking an individual a series of "why? When taking an Implicit Association Testpeople with self control high-level construals are significantly faster at associating temptations such as candy bars with "bad," and healthy choices such as apples with "good" than those in the low-level condition.

Further, higher-level construals also self control a significantly increased likelihood of choosing an apple for snack over a candy bar. Without any conscious or active self-control efforts, temptations can be dampened by merely inducing high-level construals.


It is suggested that the abstraction of high-level construals reminds people self control their overall, lifelong values, such as a healthy self control, which deemphasizes the current tempting situation. A token economy system is a behavioral program in which individuals in a group can earn tokens for a variety of desirable behaviors and can cash in the tokens for various backup, positive reinforcers.

One aspect of these procedural differences was the delay to the exchange period Hyten et al.


The human subjects had to wait for an "exchange self control in which they could exchange their tokens for money, usually at the end of the experiment. When this was done with the non-human subjects, in the form of pigeons, they responded much like humans in that males showed much less control than females.

She then states, that in adulthood, for the most part, the sexes equalize on their ability to self control self-control.

This could imply a human's ability to exert more self-control as they mature and become self control of the consequences associated with impulsivity.

This suggestion is further examined below.

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