Self-Control

This is an illustrations of many points on a path to the mountain top

Effective Self-Control Strategies Involve Much More Than Willpower, Research Shows

Leading behavioral scientists propose a new framework that outlines four types of self-control strategies… More

  • Watching people’s hands as they choose between long-term and short-term options offers a new approach to studying self-control... More

    Overhead view of a doughnut box with a young girl's hand reaching to grab the last pink strawberry frosted donut.

    Your Hands May Reveal the Struggle to Maintain Self-Control

    Watching people’s hands as they choose between long-term and short-term options offers a new approach to studying self-control... More

  • When choosing between indulgent and healthy foods, your pick may depend on what other foods sit nearby on the grocery shelf... More

    This is a photo of an adult male grocery shopping in a supermarket

    Context Shapes Choice of Healthy Foods

    When choosing between indulgent and healthy foods, your pick may depend on what other foods sit nearby on the grocery shelf... More

  • Those participants who were told their group members were patient ended up waiting almost twice as long for a second marshmallow as the others... More

    Group norms influence individual self-control in children

    Those participants who were told their group members were patient ended up waiting almost twice as long for a second marshmallow as the others... More

  • A new research replication project, involving 24 labs and over 2100 participants, failed to reproduce findings from a previous study that suggested that self-control is a depletable resource... More

    Empty Gas Tank Gauge

    Replication Project Investigates Self-Control as Limited Resource

    A new research replication project, involving 24 labs and over 2100 participants, failed to reproduce findings from a previous study that suggested that self-control is a depletable resource... More

  • Linking tasks that we intend to complete to distinctive cues that we’ll encounter at the right place and the right time may help us remember to follow through... More

    Don't Forget Written on Postit

    Hacking Memory to Follow Through with Intentions

    Linking tasks that we intend to complete to distinctive cues that we’ll encounter at the right place and the right time may help us remember to follow through... More

  • Longitudinal data from thousands of participants show that childhood measures of self-discipline predict everything from personal income to the pace of physiological aging in adulthood... More

    The Lasting Power of Patience

    Longitudinal data from thousands of participants show that childhood measures of self-discipline predict everything from personal income to the pace of physiological aging in adulthood... More

  • The idea that natural urges “die down” with time seems intuitive, but research shows that it’s being reminded about what not to do, not the passage of time, that actually helps young children control their impulsive behavior... More

    This is an illustration of a stopwatch

    Don’t Delay: Having to Wait Doesn’t Help Young Kids Exercise Self-Control

    The idea that natural urges “die down” with time seems intuitive, but research shows that it’s being reminded about what not to do, not the passage of time, that actually helps young children control their impulsive behavior... More

  • Research findings suggest that memory encoding and self-control share and vie for common cognitive resources: inhibiting our response to a stimulus temporarily tips resources away from encoding new memories... More

    Self-Control Competes with Memory

    Research findings suggest that memory encoding and self-control share and vie for common cognitive resources: inhibiting our response to a stimulus temporarily tips resources away from encoding new memories... More

  • Children with high self-control -- who are typically better able to pay attention, persist with difficult tasks, and suppress inappropriate or impulsive behaviors -- are much more likely to find and retain employment as adults... More

    Multiethnic group of workers standing together

    Childhood Self-Control Linked to Enhanced Job Prospects Throughout Life

    Children with high self-control -- who are typically better able to pay attention, persist with difficult tasks, and suppress inappropriate or impulsive behaviors -- are much more likely to find and retain employment as adults... More

  • A panel of regulation experts explains how the capacity develops from infancy through adolescence... More

    Three plants at different stages of growth

    Portrait of Self-Control as a Young Process

    A panel of regulation experts explains how the capacity develops from infancy through adolescence... More

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