Article

Saying "No" to Temptation: Want-to Motivation Improves Self-Regulation by Reducing Temptation Rather Than by Increasing Self-Control

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Abstract

Self-regulation has been conceptualized as the interplay between controlled and impulsive processes; however, most research has focused on the controlled side (i.e., effortful self-control). The present studies focus on the effects of motivation on impulsive processes, including automatic preferences for goal-disruptive stimuli and subjective reports of temptations and obstacles, contrasting them with effects on controlled processes. This is done by examining people's implicit affective reactions in the face of goal-disruptive "temptations" (Studies 1 and 2), subjective reports of obstacles (Studies 2 and 3) and expended effort (Study 3), as well as experiences of desires and self-control in real-time using experience sampling (Study 4). Across these multiple methods, results show that want-to motivation results in decreased impulsive attraction to goal-disruptive temptations and is related to encountering fewer obstacles in the process of goal pursuit. This, in turn, explains why want-to goals are more likely to be attained. Have-to motivation, on the other hand, was unrelated to people's automatic reactions to temptation cues but related to greater subjective perceptions of obstacles and tempting desires. The discussion focuses on the implications of these findings for self-regulation and motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).

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... Therefore, higher levels of autonomous motivation than controlled motivation (i.e., higher relative autonomous motivation or RAM) might be associated with greater persistence in the face of difficulties because the individual does not feel their actions require as much effort as when the behavior arises from controlled forms of regulation. Recent findings from Milyavskaya et al (2015) provide support for this view, showing that greater autonomous motivation (but not controlled motivation) is associated with perceiving fewer temptations and obstacles to one's goal pursuit (see also Werner et al., 2016). ...
... Study 1 provided some support for the hypothesis that RAM predicts healthy eating when it is difficult. Consistent with previous research (e.g., Milyavskaya et al., 2015), post-hoc analyses showed that higher RAM was also associated with lower perceptions of food goal difficulty. However, despite higher ratings of difficulty for avoidance goals than approach goals, we observed a higher success rate for avoidance goals than for approach goals. ...
... In Study 2, we found no effect of RAM on goal success when food availability made eating healthy more difficult. However, post-hoc analyses showed that RAM influenced perceptions of food availability, which is consistent with other research (e.g., Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Indeed, we found that people with higher (vs. ...
Article
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Most people try to eat healthy, but the temptation of unhealthy foods (among other factors) can make it difficult. Despite these difficulties, some people still achieve their healthy eating goals. Following self-determination theory (SDT; Ryan & Deci, 2000), we propose that relative autonomous motivation (RAM) can foster people's effort in pursuing health goals. In two daily diary studies, we tested the hypothesis that RAM predicts attainment of healthy eating goals, especially when it is difficult. In Study 1, we focused on difficulties associated with trying to eat certain foods while avoiding others, whereas in Study 2, we focused on difficulties associated with the availability of unhealthy and healthy foods. Multilevel analyses provided some support our hypothesis, and highlighted the role of RAM for eating (vs. skipping) lunch and packing a lunch-two approach-based healthy eating strategies. We discuss these findings in relation to SDT and propose directions for future research on within-person changes in motivation and other sources of difficulty. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11031-022-09960-3.
... Obstacles can be defined as "interfering forces that prevent people from reaching their goals" (Marguc, Forster, & Van Kleef, 2011, p.883). Research suggests that the experience of obstacles plays an important role in goal pursuit, finding evidence for a negative association between obstacles and goal attainment (Hofmann, Baumeister, Förster, & Vohs, 2012;Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, & Koestner, 2015). A large part of the literature on obstacles has focused on the experience of temptations, which are problematic desires conflicting with longterm goals . ...
... Temptations are always considered to be a form of obstacle, and although obstacles encompass automatic processes such as temptations, they also include environmental constraints (e.g. healthy food is unavailable) or lack of resources (e.g., not enough time to cook healthy foods; Leduc-Cummings, Milyavskaya, & Peetz, 2017;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). For the sake of clarity, we use the term obstacles throughout the paper to refer to a broad conceptualization that includes both temptations and other obstacles; however, when reviewing past research that has focused specifically on temptations, we use that terminology. ...
... Research shows that there is considerable variation in the experience of obstacles during goal pursuit -some people report encountering fewer temptations and obstacles than others Milyavskaya et al., 2015). And although those findings provide evidence that successful self-regulation is likely more about not experiencing obstacles in the first place, it ...
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Some people report encountering fewer obstacles during goal pursuit than others, but why is this the case? Seven pre-registered studies examine the role of goal motivation (want-to and have-to) and trait self-control in how individuals set up and perceive obstacles to goal pursuit in their environment. Findings show that want-to motivation and trait self-control were associated with reduced experiences of obstacles; have-to motivation was associated with a preference for greater proximity to obstacles. Have-to motivation was also related to stronger perceptions of obstacles as problematic, and trait self-control was related to the perception of obstacles as less problematic. Discussion centers on nuances regarding these relations and their existence in different contexts, and on implications for self-regulation and motivation.
... Strategies for dealing with tasks that entail a self-control conflict (such as unpleasant obligations) in a less fatiguing way have already been studied in the past under the umbrella term effortless self-regulation (e.g., Gillebaart and De Ridder, 2015). Till now, research has mainly studied the trait-like strategies of people with effective self-regulation strategies and the properties of the task (De Ridder et al., 2012;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). For example, effortless self-regulation is facilitated if the long-term goal is automatically activated when individuals are faced with an obstacle in goal-pursuit (see Fujita, 2011, for a review) or if the task is pursued for autonomous (as opposed to controlled) reasons (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). ...
... Till now, research has mainly studied the trait-like strategies of people with effective self-regulation strategies and the properties of the task (De Ridder et al., 2012;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). For example, effortless self-regulation is facilitated if the long-term goal is automatically activated when individuals are faced with an obstacle in goal-pursuit (see Fujita, 2011, for a review) or if the task is pursued for autonomous (as opposed to controlled) reasons (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). We propose that one way to solve the conflict perceived by individuals in the pursuit of unpleasant obligations would be to increase activity related incentives, thus making goal pursuit more attractive. ...
... This goes beyond the study by Weber (2013) and allows us to disentangle the specific effects of motto-goals from effects of the group context and potential trainer effects (see e.g., Lambert and Barley, 2001). Second, while other research has focused on the trait-like strategies of people with effective selfregulation strategies and the properties of the task (De Ridder et al., 2012;Milyavskaya et al., 2015), we focus on the incentives of goal striving. Third, going beyond the ideas of Rohe et al. (2016) and Storch and Krause (2017), we will expand previous theorizing on motto-goals. ...
Article
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Motto-goals describe a desired mind-set and provide a person with a guiding principle of how to approach a personal goal or obligation (e.g., with the inner strength of a bear I am forging ahead). We propose that motto-goals can be conceptionalized as individually created metaphors and that the figurative, metaphorical language and the characteristics of the formation process make them effective in changing the perception of unpleasant personal obligations as more inherently enjoyable and raise vitality levels. To test whether a newly devised minimalistic motto-goal intervention can make goal striving more attractive (stronger anticipation of activity related incentives) and energize goal-oriented action (increase vitality) in relation to an unpleasant obligation, two experimental studies were conducted. In Study 1 the motto-goal condition led to stronger anticipation of activity related incentives and vitality compared to a distraction task. The effect on vitality was partially mediated by a change in feelings of autonomy. Study 2 replicated the effects compared to a placebo intervention and further found motto-goals to be specifically effective in increasing the anticipation of activity related incentives as opposed to outcome related incentives. The results support that applying motto-goals built with a newly developed minimalist motto-goal intervention can influence the subjective experience of individuals faced with a previously unpleasant obligation.
... For example, in a study of employees, controlled motivation led to greater work effort (although the effect was smaller than for autonomous motivation; Kuvaas et al., 2015), and research on high school and college students found extrinsic and introjected motivation (which both form controlled motivation) to be negatively related to drop out intentions and absenteeism, and positively related to persistence (Ratelle et al., 2007). Research on personal goals found that people reported exerting more effort on those goals that were more controlled (relative to their own baseline; Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Other research has shown that controlled motivation can be positive when coupled with high autonomous motivation (that is, individuals who have high levels on both types of motivation perform better than those who have high autonomous or high controlled motivation only; Gillet et al., 2009;Lepper et al., 2005;Ratelle et al., 2007). ...
... Thus, evidence for the role of controlled motivation in predicting prosocial behavior is mixed. There are reasons to expect that people who tend to help due to a sense of duty and fear of negative consequences for inaction might also be more likely to perform kind acts for others in their daily life (Ferguson et al., 2015;Kuvaas et al., 2015;Ma et al., 2017;Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Ratelle et al., 2007). However, there is also some evidence suggesting null or even negative effects of controlled motivation on prosocial behavior (Gorin et al., 2014;Hardy et al., 2015;Pavey et al., 2012). ...
... Thus, autonomous motivation might be particularly strongly linked to more time spent on helping. As controlled motivation has been shown to increase effort expended in goal pursuit (Milyavskaya et al., 2015), controlled motivation might be particularly strongly linked to more prosocial effort reported. In the present research we examine the number of daily prosocial acts, the time and money spent helping, as well as subjective effort spent on daily helping to capture possible differences in their link with the different types of motivation. ...
Article
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We examine reports of typical daily helping (Study 1a-b, Ns = 402 and 217) and daily helping reported over seven days (Study 2, n = 2380 daily diary reports) through the lens of self-determination theory. We examine autonomous prosocial motivation (seeing intrinsic value in helping and seeing helpfulness as part of one’s identity) and controlled prosocial motivation (seeing helping as a duty and obligation) as independent predictors. Autonomous prosocial motivation was linked to more prosocial acts, more time, and more effort spent on typical daily helping (Study 1), and to more prosocial acts, more time, and more effort spent on helping on a given day (Study 2). Controlled prosocial motivation was linked to more money and more effort spent on typical daily helping (Study 1), and to more prosocial acts, more money and more effort spent on helping that day (Study 2). We conclude that both types of prosocial motivation can foster daily helping.
... Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease and therefore active participation in treatment through adhering to recommendations and achieving non-pharmacological goals as a form of selfregulation may be questionable. Milyavskaya et al. (2015) have added that selected goal characteristics significantly determine the process of engaging in self-regulation behaviour. Successful goal progress is dependent on particular properties of the goals themselves (Werner et al., 2016). ...
... To measure Motivation type 2 diabetes, two separate scales of autonomous motivation (combining intrinsic, integrated and identified regulation) and controlled motivation (combining introjected and extrinsic regulation and amotivation) were used (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). All items were rated on a 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) scale. ...
... Effort. Participants rated their agreement with one item for each goal and recommendation representing effort: "I have tried really hard to achieve this goal" on a 7-point scale from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). ...
Article
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The current guidelines for improving the care of people with type 2 diabetes (diabetes mellitus) suggest that doctors should also inform patients about the necessity of achieving health-related diabetes goals. A patient´s ability to successfully achieve health-related goals and treatment recommendations could improve their health and decrease the risk of diabetes-related complications. The present study aims to explore if the selected goal/recommendation characteristics (motivation, self-efficacy, effort, and challenge) support the progress in health-related goals and recommendations. A study was performed with 120 patients diagnosed with type 2 diabetes from the Centre for Diabetes Treatment at the L. Pasteur University Hospital in Košice, Slovakia. The participants responded to questions about health goals, treatment recommendations and obstacles with items assessing motivation, effort, challenges, self-efficacy, and progress. The results showed that patients with diabetes were more likely to make successful progress when health-goals were autonomous and recommendations were autonomous or controlled motivated. There was a significant effect of patients’ effort and efficacy on progress in both goals and recommendations. With increasing years of diabetes, the recommendations and goals’ autonomous motivation significantly decreased while recommendation effort increased. Goals and recommendation challenge did not predict progress. The results suggest that interventions should focus on encouraging want-to motivation, self-efficacy and professionals evaluate patients’ effort.
... Les objectifs personnels diffèrent en fonction de la source de motivation. L'individu envisage ainsi les scénarios futurs en fonction de ce qu'il veut ou en fonction de ce qu'il doit faire (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Selon le modèle de Sheldon et Elliot (1999) La relation entre la mémoire et la prise de décisions se concentre sur le rôle de la mémoire épisodique dans la construction d'événements simulés ou imaginés (Tulving, 1983 ;. La capacité à simuler des événements est soutenue par des mécanismes cognitifs qui impliquent d'extraire des informations d'épisodes vécus et de les utiliser pour créer de nouvelles représentations mentales dans le futur Schacter et al., 2017). ...
... Lorsque le salarié est intégré à l'organisation, il peut envisager les scénarios futurs en fonction de ce qu'il veut ou en fonction de ce qu'il doit faire (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Le contrat psychologique pour cette auteure correspondrait à un schéma ou un modèle mental que les individus possèdent à propos de leur relation d'emploi. ...
... Dans ce cas, l'action est conduite pour l'intérêt et le plaisir que l'individu y trouve (motivation intrinsèque), pour son importance personnelle ou parce qu'elle correspond à ses valeurs. A l'inverse, les objectifs qui ne sont pas en concordance avec le self sont poursuivis pour des raisons externes, comme des pressions extérieures, la peur de sanction (motivation extrinsèque), ou aussi pour éviter des sentiments négatifs comme le stress ou la culpabilité(Milyavskaya et al., 2015 ;Sheldon et Elliot, 1999). En d'autres termes, les objectifs en concordance avec le self correspondent à des projets que l'individu souhaite atteindre tandis que les objectifs en discordance avec le self correspondent à des actions qu'il doit faire.Les objectifs personnels ne sont pas tous identiques. ...
Thesis
Ce travail doctoral propose de décloisonner les disciplines en rapprochant la littérature sur l’implication organisationnelle de celle en neuropsychologie sur la mémoire autobiographique. Un état de l’art sur l’implication organisationnelle a révélé l’insuffisante prise en compte du caractère heurté des carrières contemporaines. Or, ce n’est pas parce que le salarié change d’organisation qu’il fait table rase de son passé. Des traces mnésiques de son implication dans sa précédente organisation subsistent et continuent à produire des effets au présent. L’ambition de cette recherche est de tester l’hypothèse générale de l’existence d’un lien entre les implications organisationnelles rétrospective et actuelle. Les données empiriques collectées auprès de 385 salariés révèlent qu’un lien significatif existe entre ces deux implications. Ce lien n’est altéré ni par les différences des caractéristiques respectives des deux organisations, ni par les conditions de rupture, le temps de transition entre les deux emplois, l’ancienneté chez l’ancien ou le nouvel employeur. Ce lien est en revanche renforcé lorsque le salarié se met psychologiquement à distance de son souvenir. Ces résultats peuvent être expliqués par les connaissances tenues pour acquises au sujet de la mémoire autobiographique. Puisque le salarié ne peut modifier son passé, il reconstruit le souvenir qu’il en garde à chaque évocation au présent afin de maintenir à la fois une cohérence avec son self actuel et un sentiment de continuité de lui-même dans le temps. En offrant une relecture continue des événements passés à la lumière du présent, le salarié limite les effets dissonants qui pourraient éventuellement apparaître. Ces résultats inédits montrent, au niveau théorique, l’importance de la prise en compte du fonctionnement de la mémoire du salarié à l’heure des carrières moins linéaires. Sur le plan managérial, ils débouchent sur des préconisations d’action en particulier lorsque la mémoire du futur est intégrée. La mémoire autobiographique n’est en effet pas uniquement tournée vers le passé. Les souvenirs et les connaissances de ses expériences passées fournissent au salarié un socle autobiographique qui lui permet d’ajuster son comportement dans le présent et de prendre des décisions pour son avenir. Le présent englobe une partie du passé et une anticipation du futur. Sur le plan méthodologique, ils révèlent que lorsque les études questionnent le passé, ce n’est pas la réalité vécue qui est rapportée mais un souvenir reconstruit. Enfin, puisque la mémoire autobiographique individuelle est aussi tributaire de la mémoire collective, l’ensemble du phénomène ne peut être capturé qu’en les rapprochant. Nous avons inséré la mémoire autobiographique dans notre étude afin de compléter la littérature sur l’implication organisationnelle. En procédant ainsi, nous proposons un programme de recherche d’envergure.
... Iní autori ich považujú za 2 separátne motivačné dimenzie, tzv. "chcem" ("want to", danú súčtom vnútornej a identifikovanej) a "musím" motiváciu ("have to", danú súčtom introjikovanej a vonkajšej) (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Z uvedeného následné vyplýva, že cieľ môže byť dosahovaný i z oboch dôvodov. ...
... žiadny efekt na cieľový progres (tamže). Milyavskaya et al. (2015) zistili, že častejšie dosiahnutie cieľa s väčšou "chcem" motiváciou je skôr dôsledkom vnímania menšieho množstva prekážok, než dôsledkom vynakladania väčšieho úsilia. Na druhej strane "musím" motivácia súvisela skôr s intenzívnejším vnímaním prekážok, ako i s väčším vynakladaním úsilia, dôsledkom čoho bolo vzájomné "rušenie sa" oboch efektov a nízky progres. ...
... Výskumy potvrdzujú, že ľudia s vysokým pocitom záväzku k cieľu vynakladajú pri dosahovaní svojich cieľov viac úsilia (Fishbach, Dhar, 2005), resp. že záväzok je významným prediktorom úsilia (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Výskumné zistenia ďalej potvrdili, že významným prediktorom záväzku k cieľu je dôležitosť cieľa (goal desirability, Voorneman, De Ridder, Adriaanse, 2011), pričom vnímanie dôležitosť cieľa sa dáva do súvisu i s vnímaním dosiahnuteľnosti cieľa (Voorneman, De Ridder, Adriaanse, 2011;Brandstätter, Herrmann, Schüler, 2013). ...
Article
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The aim of the research was to explore the correlations among the perceived characteristics of the academic goal (the grade that a student set himself to achieve) during the semester, as well as the correlations with the obtained grade. The university students (N = 31) participated on the research. Their perceptions of motivation, self-efficacy, commitment, desirability, attainability, effort, progress and action crisis were collected by short scales 1. in the goal setting, 2. after passing the credit test and 3. 24hours before the exam. After passing the exam, the grade and the fulfillment of the goal were also collected. Only the higher desirability after passing the partial goal (after the credit test) was associated with the worse grade. However, the students had set the worse grades than they finally obtained. Correlations among the goal characteristics confirmed the findings of other studies. The correlations among the previous and the upcoming goal characteristics have shown the importance of the initial “want to” motivation, desirability and attainability. The crisis was correlated with low attainability, low progress and with previous crisis and “have to” motivation.
... Niektorí autori koncipujú len 2 motivačné dimenzie, tzv. "chcem" ("want to", danú súčtom vnútornej a identifikovanej) a "musím" motiváciu ("have to", danú súčtom introjikovanej a vonkajšej) (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Výskumy preukázali, že predovšetkým vnútorná, resp. ...
... má väčšie odhodlanie prekážky prekonať (Leduc-Cummings, Milyavskaya, & Peetz, 2017). Zistenia tiež poukazujú na to, že takto motivovaní jedinci (subjektívne) vnímali menšie množstvo prekážok a dosiahli väčší pokrok v dosahovaní svojich cieľov bez (vnímaného) vynaloženia väčšieho úsilia, pričom tieto efekty sú pravdepodobne dôsledkom "automatického" sledovania cieľa bez (uvedomovanej) námahy (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Avšak len vnútorná ("chcem") motivácia, resp. ...
... Nakoľko je prirodzenou tendenciou človeka udržiavanie pozitívneho sebaobrazu (Berglas & Jones, 1978), prekážka vychádzajúca zo self jedinca môže predstavovať väčšie ohrozenie sebaintegrity než prekážka pochádzajúca z externého prostredia a tým podporovať rozvoj prežívanej krízy. Tento predpoklad podporujú aj Milyavskaya et al. (2015), ktorí zdôrazňujú, že pri kríze úlohu zohráva najmä to, čo jedinec vníma ako prekážku a zdroj zlyhania na subjektívnej úrovni, nie objektívne indikátory alebo očakávania. Ďalej sa tiež subjektívna prekážka spájala s vyššou pravdepodobnosťou odpútania od cieľa. ...
Book
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The motivation for the creation of the book was the effort to clarify the context of the crisis in achieving the goal in terms of its determinants and procedural context with regard to the specifics of both the goal itself and the individuality of the individual striving to achieve this goal to the academic and lay public. In the present text, the reader has the opportunity to become acquainted with the essential processes that underlie the goal-oriented behavior. The goals themselves are also defined on the spectrum from the basic characteristics to the developed issues and obstacles, respectively. crisis in achieving the goal. Given that the crisis raises the question of what will happen next in the process of achieving the goal, the input of decision-making processes cannot be neglected. In this context, not only decision-making styles are discussed as relatively stable characteristics of the individual, but also the effect of self-licensing as a result of trying to maintain a positive self-image in a situation that does not correspond to the expected behavior. Following the result of the decision, an adaptive goal adjustment is also developed in terms of the exchange of the goal or a complete reduction of the effort to achieve the goal. Four empirical studies are presented. The aim of the first study was to examine the relationship between self-licensing and the characteristics of the goal, with an emphasis on the action crisis. The second study aimed to examine the extent of the action crisis experienced in achieving the goal, given the nature of the obstacle. The third study looked at the experimental examination of the relationships between self-regulatory compensation mechanisms in the form of self-licensing and self-cleansing, action crisis and processes of goal disengagement and goal reengagement as two possible strategies for advancing the goal achievement process. The fourth study examined whether and which determinants concerning the perception of obstacles and goal characteristics as well as individual / personality tendencies predict (are related to) the action crisis experiencing in achieving the problematic goal.
... In the school context, students' self-regulation was shown to differ during small group and individual work as well as while working on easier and more difficult tasks, for instance (Horvath et al. 2006;Imeraj et al. 2013). Additionally, students' self-regulation was shown to be responsive to whether learning goals were pursued out of interest and enjoyment (i.e., autonomous goals) or rather for external reasons (e.g., to please others, obtain external reward; Judge et al. 2005;Koestner et al. 2008;Milyavskaya et al. 2015;Muraven et al. 2008;Sieber et al. 2019). Consequently, self-regulation should be understood as to encompass both a trait and a state component. ...
... As a further feature of the learning material, task enjoyment was suggested to be relevant for students' momentary self-regulation during learning (Judge et al. 2005;Koestner et al. 2008). Studies investigating the relevance of the quality of goal motivation for the probability of goal attainment demonstrated that goals pursued out of interest and enjoyment (i.e., autonomous goals, 'want-to' goals) increased momentary self-regulation (Milyavskaya et al. 2015;Muraven et al. 2008;Sieber et al. 2019). They were thus more likely to be attained as compared to goals pursued for external reasons (e.g., to please others, obtain external reward; i.e., controlled goals, 'have-to' goals). ...
... This finding is in accordance with empirical evidence suggesting that higher task enjoyment should be positively associated with students' daily self-regulation during learning (Judge et al. 2005;Koestner et al. 2008). In particular, task enjoyment should support the adoption of externally determined goals (i.e., 'have-to' goals) as individually pursued goals (i.e., 'want-to goals'), whereby momentary self-regulation is improved (Milyavskaya et al. 2015;Muraven et al. 2008;Sieber et al. 2019). ...
Article
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As a means to counter the SARS-CoV‑2 pandemic, schools were closed throughout Germany between mid-March and end of April 2020. Schooling was translocated to the students' homes where students were supposed to work on learning tasks provided by their teachers. Students' self-regulation and attributes of the learning tasks may be assumed to have played important roles when adapting to this novel schooling situation. They may be predicted to have influenced students' daily self-regulation and hence the independence with which they worked on learning tasks. The present work investigated the role of students' trait self-regulation as well as task difficulty and task enjoyment for students' daily independence from their parents in learning during the homeschooling period. Data on children's trait self-regulation were obtained through a baseline questionnaire filled in by the parents of 535 children (M age = 9.69, SD age = 2.80). Parents additionally reported about the daily task difficulty, task enjoyment, and students' learning independence through 21 consecutive daily online questionnaires. The results showed students' trait self-regulation to be positively associated with their daily learning independence. Additionally, students' daily learning independence was shown to be negatively associated with task difficulty and positively with task enjoyment. The findings are discussed with regard to students' daily self-regulation during the homeschooling period. Finally, implications for teaching practice during the pandemic-related school closures are derived.
... Marguc, et al. (2011) categorize them according to their effect on direct and indirect obstacles. However, the most common division of obstacles is due to their cause into subjective and objective interfering variables (Marguc et al., 2011;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). The external environment can be a source of potential physical barriers, for example, in the form of disturbing sounds, light, or other external and difficult-to-influence phenomena; the social environment can be a source of objective distractors, mainly in the form of pressure to meet social or family expectations; specific situational distractors and lack of resources can be also in the form of objective obstacles (Altmann et al., 2014). ...
... The increased intensity and frequency of the obstacle were even important predictors of the action crisis experienced, regardless of the type of obstacle. This confirms the assertion of Milyavskaya et al. (2015) that what matters more is what the individual subjectively perceives and evaluates as an obstacle and cause of failure, not objective indicators or expectations. Heckhausen (1991) adds that it is the increased frequency and intensity of the obstacle that places increased demand on the amount of effort that an individual has to expend to overcome them. ...
Article
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Background: For human beings, it is natural to set goals and work on their achievements. The process of creating, pursuing, and achieving goals in the form of self-regulation is an essential part of an individual's life, as it helps them to create and subsequently implement their life plan. However, even with individually set goals, one does not always achieve them, and some goals can turn out to be unattainable. Personal goals can therefore be a source of stress, especially if the person encounters serious obstacles or experiences major setbacks. The presence of obstacles makes it difficult to pursue the goal. Such obstacles are a natural part of the goal process, which can prevent one from fulfilling their intentions. There are several classifications of obstacles, based on hedonic (Shah & Kruglanski, 2008), time perspective (Leduc-Cummings et al., 2017), effect (Marguc et al., 2011) and the most common division based on subjectivity/objectivity (Marguc et al., 2011; Milyavskaya et al., 2015). When people confront obstacles in goal striving, action crises come into question (Ghassemi et al., 2017). A crisis occurs in a number of ways: when an individual experiences repeated failures or an increasing number of obstacles in achieving the goal; when they encounter situations in goal progress that they cannot solve; when they experience a conflict between whether to stay on the road to the goal or to give up the goal; and when they are constantly returning in their thoughts to how they failed to achieve the goal (Brandstätter & Schüler, 2013). It is surprising that we found only a small number of research findings that addressed the issue of the relationship between obstacles and action crisis, and no results about the relationship between obstacle characteristics and action crisis. Kreibich et al. (2020) found that participants with a higher tendency to identify obstacles regarding their personal goals reported higher action crises. Additionally, participants with higher action crisis reported more obstacles. Marion-Jetten et al. (2021) suggest that several obstacles can arise during an action crisis. Aim: The main goal of the current research was to clarify the relationship between experiencing action crisis and the type of obstacle (subjective/ objective), to explain the connection between action crisis and selected obstacle characteristics as perceived frequency and intensity. An additional goal was to categorize obstacles according to content, based on the criterion of subjectivity and objectivity. Method: The study was conducted on a sample of 542 young adults aged from 18 to 34 years (Mage = 22.2; SD = 1.96). The sample consisted of 73.25 % females (N = 379) and of 26.75% males (N = 145). Convenience and purposive sampling methods have been used. Socio-demographic data (gender, age, field of study, year, employment / student status), an open-ended question addressing the specific obstacles that respondents face or expect to face in pursuing the specific goal they have set, perceived frequency and intensity of the obstacle measured on a 5 - point Likert scale and Action Crisis Scale (ACRISS; Brandstätter & Schüler, 2013; Kačmár et al., 2021) were administered. ACRISS is represented by six items, each item rated on a scale ranging from 1 (no agreement) to 5 (very much agreement). All items reflect an internal decisional conflict between disengagement and further pursuit of a personal goal; specifically doubts, recurrent setbacks, implemental disorientation, ruminating, disengagement impulses and procrastinating. The internal reliability of the scale was acceptable (α = 0.623). The data were obtained in several partial studies, which concerned the setting of goals and the occurrence of obstacles in various areas of human life - weight loss, education, any personal goal, or one that the respondent wants to achieve by a certain age. T-test for independent samples, One-way ANOVA, Games-Howell post hoc test Pearson correlation coefficient and multiple linear regression were used. The statements of the respondents were analysed by content analysis (Miovský, 2006). Results: Content analysis of obstacles based on the criterion of subjectivity and objectivity was conducted. Among the subjective obstacles, the most represented were those related to the current physical and mental condition (33.9 %), then low self-control (29.5 %), personality factors (21.4 %) and the competitive goal (15.2%). For objective obstacles, the most represented were those of a situational nature (36.6 %), resources (24.4 %), and physical (8.9 %). Overall, subjective obstacles accounted for 47.7 % of all obstacles and objectives for 52.3 %. There were no significant differences in the level of action crisis in the occurrence of subjective and objective obstacles in achieving the goal, although descriptive indicators suggest a higher probability of action crisis in objective obstacles. The results indicate (F (7/176) = 4.540; p <0.001*) the existence of difference between different sub-types of obstacles in the action crisis. The results of the Games-Howell post hoc test showed that in situational resources, concurrent goal and mental / physical state obstacles, the level of action crisis is significantly higher than in personality obstacles. The action crisis has a positive and significant relationship with the frequency of the obstacle (r = 0.392**; p <0.01), perceived intensity of the obstacle (r = 0.253**; p <0.01), which prevents respondents from goal achievement. The results of multiple regression analysis (F (3/1483) = 94.90; p <0.001; R2 = 0.161) showed that frequency (β = 1.320; t = 12.999; p <0.001) and obstacle intensity (β = 0.266; t = 3.475; p <0.001) were significant predictors of the action crisis, regardless of the type of obstacle (β = - 0.237; t = 0.996; p = 0.319). Conclusion: We perceive the benefit of the study to be in the enrichment of the existing classifications of obstacles by adding two more categories (physical / mental state and personality). It is also a beneficial finding that objective and subjective obstacles contribute to the experiencing of the action crisis to approximately the same extent, but with a more detailed look at specific types of obstacles, it is possible to notice differences. The results suggest that it is not the type of obstacle that is crucial, but rather the perceived intensity and frequency of the obstacle. These results support not only the importance of self-reflection, persistence training, self-control, but also mental resilience.
... For example, autonomously motivated goals are also more effortlessly activated and pursued (Carver & Scheier, 2018;Werner et al., 2016). Autonomous motivation also leads to lower temptation away from the pursuit of personal goals; therefore, less self-control is required to resist temptation (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Taylor et al., 2020). Self-control typically declines over repeated use, a process termed "ego-depletion" (Baumeister et al., 2018). ...
... To summarize, several studies have demonstrated a link between higher quality motivation and less self-control depletion (e.g., Moller et al., 2006). This effect is currently explained by a more efficient use of self-regulatory resources (e.g., Milyavskaya et al., 2015). However, another potential explanation is that autonomous motivation may reduce the stress response, thus leaving more resources available to meet the demands of tasks requiring self-control exertion. ...
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Autonomously regulated self-control typically does not reduce over time as much, compared with self-control underpinned by controlled motivation. The proposed study tested whether an acute stress response is implicated in this process. Utilizing a framework grounded in self-determination theory, this study examined whether participants' motivational regulation would influence repeated self-control performance and acute stress levels, measured by the stress hormone cortisol. A single-blind randomized experimental design incorporating two motivational conditions (autonomous regulation and controlled regulation) tested these hypotheses. Participants (female = 28; male = 11; Mage = 22.33) performed three sequential self-control tasks; a modified Stroop task followed by two "wall sit" postural persistence tasks. Salivary cortisol was measured at baseline and after each of the wall sits. A repeated measures ANCOVA unexpectedly revealed that participants in the controlled regulation condition recorded greater wall sit performance in the first and second wall sits, compared with the autonomous condition. A repeated measures ANCOVA also revealed a significant quadratic interaction for cortisol. Controlled regulation was associated with an increase, and autonomous regulation condition a decrease, in cortisol that subsided at timepoint two. Results imply autonomous motivation facilitates an adaptive stress response. Performance on the self-control tasks was contrary to expectations, but may reflect short-term performance benefits of controlled motivation.
... This is not to say that individuals are not also enjoying work or do not find their work personally meaningful. The point is that when individuals are autonomously motivated to work on tasks, it is likely that they do not have to exert self-control because desires that interfere with task performance may not arise (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Moreover, when autonomously motivated, working on even complex tasks may feel easier and more effortless and thus can be considered a case of efficient self-regulation instead of effortful self-control (Werner & Milyavskaya, 2019). ...
... A more fine-grained measurement of the ups and downs of depletion and self-control motivation might be helpful to understand if and how motivational and resource-depletion processes interact and unfold throughout the workday. Some experience-sampling studies in the area of self-control already adopt such approaches (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Milyavskaya & Inzlicht, 2017). However, conducting such studies in organizational settings may be difficult as it puts additional demands on participants possibly impacting the self-12 When analyzing Dataset B, we even found that depletion at the beginning of work predicted task performance in the afternoon which may indicate that individuals can deal with depletion at the beginning of work by mobilizing compensatory effort (Wright et al., 2019). ...
Article
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When conceptualizing work performance as requiring self-control, scholars often employ a resource-depletion perspective. However, this perspective neglects the role of self-control motivation and self-regulation strategies. In this diary study, we examine self-control motivation (viz. motivation to control impulses) and depletion at the beginning of work and at midday as predictors of afternoon task performance. Additionally, we investigate morning aversive tasks as an antecedent of increased depletion and decreased self-control motivation. Further, we examine the role of self-regulation strategies (organizing, meaning-related strategies, self-reward) for maintaining and improving performance when depleted or low in self-control motivation. Data from a 2-week diary study with 3 daily measurements (N = 135 employees; n = 991 days) was analyzed. Multilevel path modeling showed that self-control motivation at the beginning of work and depletion at midday predicted afternoon task performance. We found that self-reward in the afternoon counteracts the negative relationship between depletion and task performance. Further, we found an indirect effect from morning aversive tasks on task performance via depletion at noon buffered by afternoon self-reward. Organizing and meaning in the afternoon were positively related to afternoon task performance. Findings suggest that self-control motivation is important for task performance, in addition to low depletion. Moreover, results highlight that self-regulation strategies are beneficial for task performance.
... In this case, individuals would feel guilty or anxious if they did not practice social distancing or would do so only in anticipation of external consequences (e.g., disapproval of others). Several decades of research has found that pursuing goal-directed behaviour for autonomous, rather than controlled, reasons is predictive of more sustained effort and goal progress (e.g., Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Moore et al., 2021;Ryan & Deci 2017). The present study hypothesized that autonomous motivation for complying to the COVID-19 pandemic social distancing heath guidelines would be predictive of the extent to which individuals adhered to the guidelines. ...
... First, we aimed to integrate self-determination theory's concept of autonomous and controlled motivation to explore whether individuals who managed to more effectively internalize and integrate the importance and value of social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic and felt more autonomous in this endeavor would be more likely to adhere to the social distancing guidelines. Our results supported this hypothesis, which is consistent with several decades of research that have consistently found more effective goal-directed behaviour as a result of more autonomous engagement (e.g., Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Moore et al., 2021). Interestingly, controlled motivation was not associated with social distancing, although we do wonder if this changed as time progressed throughout the second and third waves of the pandemic. ...
Article
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Social distancing (SD) was an effective way of reducing virus transmission during the deadly and highly infectious COVID-19 pandemic. Using a prospective longitudinal design, the present study explored how the Big 5 traits relate to variations in SD in a sample of university students (n= 285), and replicated these findings using informant reports. Self-determination theory’s concepts of autonomous motivation and intrinsic community values were explored as potential mechanisms linking traits to SD. Individuals who were higher on trait agreeableness and conscientiousness engaged in more SD because they more effectively internalized the importance and value of the guidelines as a function of their concerns about the welfare of their communities. Informant reports confirmed trait agreeableness and conscientiousness to be associated with more SD. These results enhance our understanding of individual differences associated with better internalization and adherence to public health guidelines and can inform future interventions in similar crises.
... A prominent distinction relevant to a chosen goal and associated striving behaviors involves the underlying motivation: whether the goal is perceived as driven by the sense of "want-to" or "have-to" (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Want-to motivation involves what individuals personally desire to do, whereas have-to motivation involves what individuals believe they should do (Bazerman et al., 1998). ...
Article
Self‐control has important consequences, but key questions remain regarding the underlying mechanisms involved in self‐control over time. This research examined this issue, focusing on the process model of depletion. In particular, this study examined have‐to and want‐to motivation over time to provide a direct examination of central process model propositions and to investigate extensions to this model involving antecedents and outcomes associated with individual differences in have‐to and want‐to slopes and intercepts. Participants (N = 238) were presented with a self‐control task for 45 min and reported have‐to and want‐to motivation levels every three minutes. Delay of gratification, future time perspective (antecedents), and task performance (outcome) were also measured. Results from multilevel modeling analyses indicated that have‐to motivation decreased over time, want‐to motivation increased over time, total time on the self‐control task predicted have‐to slope, future time perspective predicted have‐to intercept, and have‐to slope predicted task performance. These findings provide support for aspects of the process model, lead to new insights regarding self‐control over time, and suggest additional directions for future research to further expand our understanding of control processes.
... When people pursue goals that are aligned with their underlying values, talents, interests, and needs (i.e., autonomous goals), they are more likely to make progress on and attain their goals (Holding et al., 2017;Koestner et al., 2002Koestner et al., , 2008Sheldon & Elliot, 1998) rather than getting distracted by competing desires (Milyavskaya et al., 2015) or getting stuck in goal conflicts (Holding et al., 2017). Although some evidence suggests that autonomous motivation is directly associated with increased subjective well-being (SWB) (Sebire et al., 2009), a considerable amount of research also shows that goal progress, which tends to result from autonomous goal striving, is associated with increased SWB (Klug & Maier, 2015). ...
Article
Although considerable research has examined the traits and features involved in living a good life (Baumeister et al., 2013; Ryan et al., 2006; Wong, 2011), little research has examined personal philosophies of the good life and the motivational outcomes associated with these views. Through a prospective longitudinal study across one academic year, we examined whether perceiving oneself to be living coherently with personal conceptions of the good life was associated with greater autonomous goal motivation and, consequently, goal progress and greater subjective well-being (SWB) over time. We hypothesize that perceiving oneself as living coherently in terms of one’s own philosophy of flourishing relates to greater volition, goal progress and happiness. Our results suggest that when individuals assess themselves as following their own philosophy of living well, they tend to experience greater autonomous motivation, goal progress and SWB. Implications for personality coherence and Self-Determination Theory are discussed.
... Future research should examine the underlying processes more deeply. There is empirical precedent that being autonomously motivated leads individuals to perceive their work tasks as easier to achieve (Werner et al., 2016) while encountering fewer obstacles (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Further, the literature on proactivity (e.g., Ohly & Venz, 2021;Parker et al., 2010) and especially job crafting (e.g., Zhang & Parker, 2019) suggests that autonomously motivated employees might be more likely to proactively change their work demands. ...
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Employees around the globe experience manifold challenges to maintain job performance during the so‐called “work from home experiment” caused by the COVID‐19 crisis. Whereas the self‐control literature suggests that higher trait self‐control should enable employees to deal with these demands more effectively, we know little about the underlying mechanisms. In a mixed‐methods approach and two waves of data collection, we examine how self‐control strategies elucidate the link between teleworking employees’ trait self‐control and their job performance. Using a qualitative approach, we explored which strategies employees use to telework effectively (N = 266). In line with the process model of self‐control, reported strategies pertained to situation modification (i.e., altering the physical, somatic, or social conditions) and cognitive change (i.e., goal setting, planning/scheduling, autonomous motivation). Subsequent pre‐registered, quantitative analyses with a diverse sample of 106 teleworkers corroborated that higher trait self‐control is related to job performance beyond situational demands and prior performance. Among all self‐control strategies, modifying somatic conditions and autonomous motivation were significantly associated with job performance and mediated the self‐control‐performance link. This research provides novel insights into the processes by which employees productively work from home and inspires a broad (er) view on the topic of self‐control at work.
... Similarly, research on selfregulation shows that self-control is differentially associated with self-regulatory success in different domains (De Ridder et al. 2012). Indeed, research shows that 60-95% of the variation in most goal characteristics, including goal attainment, is across domains (Holding et al., 2017;Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Nurmi et al, 2009;Werner et al., 2016), although some specific aspects of goals, such as meaning and inspiration, have greater between-person variability Thomas & Schnitker, 2017). Despite large variability, particularly in goal attainment, very little research has directly compared the process of goal pursuit across specific domain types, or tried to understand why any differences may exist. ...
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There are currently a multitude of theories, models, and constructs that seek to explain the process of goal pursuit and how to maximize goal attainment. In this paper, we review existing research on the goal pursuit process and propose a model that integrates evidence from a variety of theories and perspectives. The proposed integrative model of goal pursuit explains the process of goal pursuit from inception to attainment (or abandonment) and addresses the influence of the broader social context and the dynamics that may arise when pursuing multiple goals. We also highlight how our integrative model of goal pursuit builds on specific prior theories and models of goal pursuit and self-regulation, and outline implications for future research and practice
... Self-concordance refers to the degree to which autonomy (internal motivation) is experienced when pursuing a goal (Werner et al., 2016). Research has found that pursuing self-concordant goals, i.e., goals that are aligned with intrinsic values, is associated with better goal progress and, ultimately, attainment (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). ...
Chapter
Positive mental health, and the validity of its assessment instruments, are largely unexplored in the Ghanaian context. This study examined the factor structure of the Twi version of the Mental Health Continuum-Short Form and explored the prevalence of positive mental health in a sample of rural Ghanaian adults (N = 444). A bifactor exploratory structural equation modelling (ESEM) model fit the data better than competing models (confirmatory factor analysis [CFA], bifactor CFA, and ESEM models). We found a high omega reliability coefficient for the general positive mental health factor (ω = .97) and marginal reliability scores for the emotional (ω = .51) and social well-being (ω = .57) subscales, but a low reliability score for the psychological well-being subscale (ω = .41). Findings support the existence of a general mental health factor, and confirm the underlying three-dimensional structure of mental health, but suggest that caution should be applied when interpreting subscale scores, especially for the psychological well-being subscale. Based on Keyes’s criteria for the categorical diagnosis of the presence of positive mental health, 25.5% of the sample were flourishing, with 74.5% functioning at suboptimal levels (31.1% languishing, 41.4% with moderate mental health) and may benefit from contextually relevant positive psychological interventions, which may also buffer against psychopathology.
... For example, from the motives theme, satisfaction with the behavior and a shift in self-determined motives (e.g., from external regulation to identified/integrated regulation or intrinsic motivation) would seem possible to account for the maintenance process (Teixeira et al., 2012). Both satisfaction and self-determined forms of motivation require behavioral experience (Ryan et al., 2009;Baldwin and Sala, 2018), and thus it is conceivable (a) satisfaction shifts across time and (b) higher satisfaction and/or self-determined motivation could supplant the cognitive resources needed to engender continued physical activity that is considered unsatisfying and externally regulated (Hagger et al., 2010;Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Huffman et al., 2020). ...
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A clear rationale can be made for promoting long-term regular physical activity (PA), yet despite some attempts to operationalize “maintenance,” no robust definition has been agreed upon, beyond arbitrary time frames of regular PA. This has likely impaired the advancement of theory and practice. The purpose of this critical narrative review was to first overview the conception of maintenance and co-requisite theoretical constructs in theories used in PA research. Our subsequent aims were to engage in a critical analysis of this literature to propose a working definition of PA maintenance followed by recommendations for future research. Relevant behavioral theories were parsed for references to maintenance or maintenance-specific constructs and constructs most likely associated with maintenance were overviewed from a recent systematic review. Based on this information, we suggest PA maintenance be operationalized as a process marked by a shift in the mechanisms of action determining behavioral performance, that engender greater perceived behavioral enactment efficiency. We suggest that maintenance should not be considered an absolute state of behavioral performance (e.g., a stage), as some constructs that were critical to behavioral performance during initiation will still be critical during PA continuation. Based on this definition, we propose a method of falsifiability hypothesis testing of theoretical constructs that may determine the maintenance process. Finally, the review concludes with suggestions for future research using this operationalization of maintenance including measure development, tests of latency to reach the peak maintenance process, validating constructs critical to determining maintenance, exploration of the contextual and individual moderators of maintenance formation, and the development of an omnibus dynamic model of initiation, continuation, and maintenance in PA behavior change.
... Self-concordance refers to the degree to which autonomy (internal motivation) is experienced when pursuing a goal (Werner et al., 2016). Research has found that pursuing self-concordant goals, i.e., goals that are aligned with intrinsic values, is associated with better goal progress and, ultimately, attainment (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). ...
Chapter
Harmony is recognized as fundamental to being and functioning well in philosophical traditions and empirical research globally and in Africa. The aim of this study was to explore and describe harmony as a quality of happiness in South Africa (N = 585) and Ghana (N = 420). Using a qualitative descriptive research design, participants’ responses to an open-ended question from the Eudaimonic-Hedonic Happiness Investigation (EHHI, Delle Fave et al., Soc Indic Res 100:185–207, 2011) on what happiness meant to them were coded according to the formalized EHHI coding manual. Responses that were assigned any of the following codes were considered: codes from the “harmony/balance” category in the “psychological definitions” life domain; and codes from any other life domain containing the words “harmony”, “balance”, or “peace”. This resulted in 222 verbatim responses from South Africa and 80 from Ghana that were analyzed using content analysis to get a sense of the experiential texture of harmony as a quality of happiness. Findings showed that happiness was often expressed as harmony and balance within and between intrapersonal, interpersonal, transcendental, and universal levels of functioning, with wholeness, interconnectedness, and synergy implied. These findings, resonating with philosophical reflections on harmony from Africa and elsewhere, suggest that harmony as a quality of happiness is essentially holistic and contextually embedded and that context-sensitive interdisciplinary approaches to theory building and intervention development pertaining to harmony are needed locally and globally.
... When behavior is guided by a self-concordant goal, the impulsive attraction to goal-disruptive temptations decreases. This means that goal pursuit is perceived as obstructed by fewer obstacles (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, & Koestner, 2015). Goal self-concordance has also been demonstrated to enhance the positive eff ects that goal-attainment can have on well-being. ...
Chapter
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Why is it that some people thrive on the process of acquiring another language, and maintain momentum in their learning, while others struggle to keep on track and fail to achieve proficiency? Why is it that some people willingly engage in time-consuming activities, learning the conjugations of irregular verbs, while others find it hard to keep focused? For William James (1842–1910), one of the founding figures in modern psychology, answers may lie in the processes in which people weigh up different possibilities for action and, once settled upon, how an action can become visually imprinted in the mind. Discussing human will in his classic work The Principles of Psychology (1890/1983), James uses his own reluctance to rise from bed on a cold winter’s morning as an example of how vision prompts action. Arriving at a point where other possibilities (staying in bed) begin to recede from his mind, James describes how thoughts of the things needing to be accomplished during the day become the focal point of his attention, and force him into action (getting up). The spur for this or any other path of action, James maintains, is the image conjured in the mind. As he argues, “the essential achievement of the will, in short, when it is most ‘voluntary’, is to ATTEND to a difficult object and hold it fast before the mind” (James 1890/1983, p. 1166; see also Cross & Markus, 1990; Hunt, 2007). Focusing on vision–the mental images of objects held “fast before the mind”–and on goals that have a deeper personal meaning, this chapter discusses their roles in shaping L2 learning behavior. Drawing on work in mainstream and L2 psychology, it examines the ways in which vision can generate and sustain focused energy, and highlights the potentially positive effects of learning goals that resonate with personal interests, values and beliefs.
... The indicator may be a faster movement toward the goal. Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, and Koestner (2015) use the terms want-to and have-to motivation instead of terms autonomous and external motivation. ...
Conference Paper
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"The objective of the study is to investigate the relationship between different forms of motivation mindsets. The integrative model of motivated behavior (Meyer, Becker, & Vandenberghe, 2004) indicates relations between the forms of motivation identified in the self-determination theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985) and the regulatory focus theory (Higgins, 1997, 1998). A concept of goal regulation proposes relations between autonomous versus external motivation and promotion versus prevention focus. The research involved 288 university students. Participants rated their motivation for three personal goals on scales assessing self-concordance (Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). The regulatory focus was assessed by the Regulatory Focus Questionnaire (RFQ, Higgins et al., 2001). It was found that autonomous motivation was significantly positively related to promotion focus. Furthermore, autonomous motivation predicted promotion focus. Between external motivation and prevention focus a significant relationship was not confirmed. However, external motivation significantly negatively correlated with promotion focus."
... İnsan davranışlarına yön veren bilişsel süreçlerden biri olan öz düzenleme insanların uzun vadeli hedeflerine göre hareket edebilme yetenekleri olarak tanımlanmaktadır (Carver ve Scheier, 2011;Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope ve Koestner, 2015). Öz düzenleme; bireylerin duygularını, dikkatlerini ve davranışlarını kontrol edebilme yeteneklerini içermektedir (Gestsdottir ve Lerner, 2008). ...
Article
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z: Bu çalışma da rehberlik öğretmeni adaylarının öz düzenlemenin dikkat kontrolü boyutunun siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık düzeyleri üzerindeki yordayıcı ilişkisi incelenmiştir. Ayrıca araştırmada rehberlik öğretmeni adaylarının siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık düzeylerinin cinsiyete ve sınıf düzeyine göre farklılaşıp farklılaşmadığı ortaya ko-nulmuştur. Araştırmanın çalışma grubunu Atatürk Üniversitesi Reh-berlik ve Psikolojik Danışmanlık programında 1 ila 4. sınıflar arasında öğrenim gören 346 öğrenci oluşturmaktadır. Araştırmada siber zorbalık duyarlılık ölçeği ve öz düzenlemenin dikkat kontrol boyutunu ölçeği kullanılmıştır. Verilerin analizinde cinsiyete göre farklılıklar için bağım-sız örneklemler için t testi, sınıf düzeyine göre farklılıklar için varyans analizi kullanılmıştır. Rehberlik öğretmeni adaylarının öz düzenleme-nin dikkat kontrolü boyutunun siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık üzerin-deki yordayıcı ilişkisi ise yapısal eşitlik modeli ile test edilmiştir. Araş-tırmanın sonucunda kadın öğrencilerin siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlı-lık düzeylerinin erkek öğrencilerden anlamlı olarak daha fazla olduğu saptanmıştır. Birinci ve ikinci sınıfta öğrenim gören öğrencilerin siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık puanları üçüncü sınıflardan anlamlı olarak daha yüksek olduğu ortaya çıkmıştır. Çalışmadan elde edilen diğer bir bulguda rehberlik öğretmeni adaylarının öz düzenlemenin dikkat kontrolü boyutu ile siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık puanları arasında düşük düzeyde, zayıf ve anlamlı bir ilişki olduğu ortaya çıkarılmıştır. Araştırmanın diğer bir sonucunda öz düzenlemenin dikkat boyutunun, siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık düzeyini düşük düzeyde, pozitif ve an-lamlı olarak yordadığı belirlenmiştir. Anahtar Kelimeler: Rehberlik öğretmeni adayları, siber zorbalığa ilişkin duyarlılık, dikkat kontrolü, öz düzenleme MİLLÎ EĞİTİM • Cilt: 49 • Sayı: 225, (343-368)
... That is, they come up with reasons to pursue their goals that feel autonomous and authentic and not reasons that feel like an imposition (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Such want-to goals seem resistant to temptation, attracting fewer disruptive thoughts and emotions (even implicit ones) that might detract a person from meeting their goals (Milyavskaya et al., 2015). ...
Article
Any analysis of self-regulation that focuses solely on willpower in conflict-laden situations is insufficient. Research makes clear that the best way to reach one's goal is not to resist temptations but to avoid temptations before they arrive; it further suggests that willpower is fragile and not to be relied on; and that the best self-regulators engage in willpower remarkably seldom.
... That is, they come up with reasons to pursue their goals that feel autonomous and authentic and not reasons that feel like an imposition (Ryan & Deci, 2000). Such want-to goals seem resistant to temptation, attracting fewer disruptive thoughts and emotions (even implicit ones) that might detract a person from meeting their goals (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, & Koestner, 2015). ...
Article
Ainslie does not formally incorporate risk and uncertainty in his framework for modelling impulses and willpower. To provide a complete account of the motivational bases of choice behaviour, Ainslie should extend his framework to incorporate risk attitudes and subjective beliefs.
... Because it is a natural tendency for a person to maintain a positive self-image (Jones & Berglas, 1978), an obstacle arising from the individual's self may pose a greater threat to self-integration than an obstacle from the external environment and thus support the development of the crisis. This assumption is also supported by Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Hope, and Koestner (2015), who emphasize that what the individual perceives as an obstacle and a source of failure at the subjective level, not objective indicators or expectations, play a role in the crisis. Furthermore, the subjective obstacle was also associated with a higher probability of goal disengagement. ...
Article
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Self-licensing and self-cleansing effects represent two aspects of the same self-regulatory mechanism that is based on the decision-making process. Building upon this background, the link of self-licensing with goal-oriented behaviour as one of the ways how self-regulation is explained is evident. In goal-directed behaviour, we perceive the maladaptive function of self-licensing as a possible obstacle causing a crisis in goal achievement, or the adaptive way how to resolve the self-regulatory conflict. In an action crisis, one considers several options-achieving the goal at all costs, giving up the effort to achieve it and identification of the alternative one. The objective of the study was the experimental examination of the relationships between self-licensing and self-cleansing, action crisis, goal disengagement and goal reengagement as two possible strategies for advancing the goal achievement process. The study was conducted on 195 participants divided into three conditions-self-licensing, self-cleansing and control group. The results did not show significant differences in action crisis, goal disengagement and goal reengagement between groups. The action crisis and goal disengagement were significantly more likely experienced while dealing with a subjective obstacle. Also, women were significantly more prone to goal reengagement than men.
... Previous SDT-based research has mostly considered the different effects of autonomous and controlled motivation in goal striving for self-regulatory outcomes such as effort, performance, persistence, progress, and attainment. Importantly, autonomous motivation appears to optimize goal pursuit because it is associated with adaptive goal processes including greater subjective ease of effort (Werner et al., 2016), the perception of fewer future obstacles (Leduc-Cummings et al., 2017), less severe action crises (Holding et al., 2017), decreased conflict between goals (Kelly et al., 2015), shielding of goals from temptations and distractions (Milyavskaya et al., 2015), and more effective use of implementation plans (Koestner et al., 2002(Koestner et al., , 2006. The present research introduces a parallel process for the role of autonomous motivation in goal disengagement. ...
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When people hit roadblocks with their personal goals, goal disengagement is an adaptive response associated with improved mental and physical health. However, people can have trouble letting go of goals, even when pursuing them is problematic. We introduce a motivational model of goal disengagement by proposing that having autonomous motivation to disengage (a sense of truly identifying with the decision) as opposed to controlled motivation to disengage (feeling forced to let go) allows for people to make greater progress disengaging from specific goals, and prevents people getting stuck in an “inaction crisis” where they feel torn between disengaging further or re-adopting the goal. Using prospective longitudinal designs, we tracked the goal disengagement of personal goals in university students (Study 1, N = 510) and a general adult sample of Americans (Study 2, N= 446), finding that autonomous motivation for goal disengagement facilitated making disengagement progress. This work expands our understanding of the role of autonomous motivation throughout a goal’s lifecycle and helps integrate different theoretical frameworks on goal motivation and self-regulation.
... Previous SDT-based research has mostly considered the different effects of autonomous and controlled motivation in goal striving for self-regulatory outcomes such as effort, performance, persistence, progress, and attainment. Importantly, autonomous motivation appears to optimize goal pursuit because it is associated with adaptive goal processes including greater subjective ease of effort (Werner et al., 2016), the perception of fewer future obstacles (Leduc-Cummings et al., 2017), less severe action crises (Holding et al., 2017), decreased conflict between goals (Kelly et al., 2015), shielding of goals from temptations and distractions (Milyavskaya et al., 2015), and more effective use of implementation plans (Koestner et al., 2002(Koestner et al., , 2006. The present research introduces a parallel process for the role of autonomous motivation in goal disengagement. ...
Preprint
When people hit roadblocks with their personal goals, goal disengagement is an adaptive response associated with improved mental and physical health. However, people can have trouble letting go of goals, even when pursuing them is problematic. We introduce a motivational model of goal disengagement by proposing that having autonomous motivation to disengage (a sense of truly identifying with the decision) as opposed to controlled motivation to disengage (feeling forced to let go) allows for people to make greater progress disengaging from specific goals, and prevents people getting stuck in an “inaction crisis” where they feel torn between disengaging further or re-adopting the goal. Using prospective longitudinal designs, we tracked the goal disengagement of personal goals in university students (Study 1, N = 510) and a general adult sample of Americans (Study 2, N= 446), finding that autonomous motivation for goal disengagement facilitated making disengagement progress. This work expands our understanding of the role of autonomous motivation throughout a goal’s lifecycle and helps integrate different theoretical frameworks on goal motivation and self-regulation.
... When people pursue goals that are aligned with their underlying values, talents, interests, and needs (i.e., autonomous goals), they are more likely to make progress on and attain their goals (Holding et al., 2017;Koestner et al., 2002Koestner et al., , 2008Sheldon & Elliot, 1998) rather than getting distracted by competing desires (Milyavskaya et al., 2015) or getting stuck in goal conflicts (Holding et al., 2017). Although some evidence suggests that autonomous motivation is directly associated with increased subjective well-being (SWB) (Sebire et al., 2009), a considerable amount of research also shows that goal progress, which tends to result from autonomous goal striving, is associated with increased SWB (Klug & Maier, 2015). ...
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Although considerable research has examined the traits and features involved in living a good life (Baumeister et al. in J Posit Psychol 8(6):505–516, 2013; Ryan et al. in Self-determination theory: Basic psychological needs in motivation, development, and wellness, Guilford Press, 2006; Wong in Can Psychol/Psychol Can 52(2):69–81, 2011), little research has examined personal philosophies of the good life and the motivational outcomes associated with these views. Through a prospective longitudinal study across one academic year, we examined whether perceiving oneself to be living coherently with personal conceptions of the good life was associated with greater autonomous goal motivation and, subsequently, goal progress and greater subjective well-being (SWB) over time. We hypothesize that perceiving oneself as living coherently in terms of one’s own philosophy of flourishing relates to greater volition, goal progress and happiness. Our results suggest that when individuals assess themselves as following their own philosophy of the good life, they tend to experience greater autonomous motivation, goal progress and SWB. Implications for personality coherence and Self-Determination Theory are discussed.
... Recent advances in augmented AR are attracting much attention in the area of nutritional healthcare. The literature has addressed the issues related to the importance of self-monitoring and self-regulation in behavior learning and inquiry of dietary knowledge (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sleddens et al., 2016). The use of AR in learning settings linking with students' need for relevant knowledge construction processes is more likely to encourage active exploration by students (Tan, Chang, & Kinshuk, 2015;Yilmaz, Yilmaz, & Sahin, 2015). ...
... The sample size was based on studies with similar designs and research questions (Friese & Hofmann, 2016;Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Milyavskaya & Inzlicht, 2017), which varied between N = 101 and N = 205. The aim was to recruit 200 participants with a response rate of 70%, resulting in a first wave of 233 recruited undergraduate students from the University of REDACTED. ...
Article
Research on self-control has increasingly acknowledged the importance of self-regulatory strategies, with strategies in earlier stages of the developing tempting impulse thought to be more effective than strategies in later stages. However, recent research on emotion regulation has moved away from assuming that some strategies are per se and across situations more adaptive than others. Instead, strategy use that is variable to fit situational demands is considered more adaptive. In the present research, we transfer this dynamic process perspective to self-regulatory strategies in the context of persistence conflicts. We investigated eight indicators of strategy use (i.e., strategy intensity, instability, inertia, predictability, differentiation, diversity, and within- and between-strategy variability) in an experience sampling study ( N = 264 participants with 1,923 observations). We found that variability between strategies was significantly associated with self-regulatory success above and beyond mean levels of self-regulatory strategy use. Moreover, the association between trait self-control on one hand and everyday self-regulatory success and affective well-being on the other hand was partially mediated by between-strategy variability. Our results do not only show the benefits of variable strategy use for individual’s self-regulatory success but also the benefits of more strongly connecting the fields of emotion regulation and self-control research.
... Self-concordance refers to the degree to which autonomy (internal motivation) is experienced when pursuing a goal (Werner et al., 2016). Research has found that pursuing self-concordant goals, i.e., goals that are aligned with intrinsic values, is associated with better goal progress and, ultimately, attainment (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). ...
Chapter
Psychology is concerned with human behaviour, therefore all psychologies are contextually-embedded and culturally informed. A movement towards globalising psychology would invariably diminish the localised socio-cultural situatedness of psychology, and instead seek to advance a dominant Euro-American centred psychology even in regions where such applications do not fit. The emergence of strong voices, and theoretically grounded and empirically supported positions from the global South in general and sub-Saharan Africa in particular, in studies of well-being allows for the opportunity to explore and describe an Africa(n) centred positive psychology. Acknowledging the limitations of cross-cultural psychological approaches, which have encouraged the uncritical transportation of Euro-American centred concepts and values, in this chapter we utilise assumptions from critical, cultural and African psychology to present our initial thoughts about a culturally embedded, socially relevant and responsive, and context respecting Africa(n) centred positive psychology. This challenge warrants consideration of early contributions to the study of well-being, its current data-driven positivist tendency, as well as African worldviews grounded in interdependence, collectivism, relatedness, harmony with nature, and spirituality. For an Africa(n) centred positive psychology, it is also essential to consider questions of epistemology, ways of knowing about the world and the human condition, context respecting knowledge, and theory building. Drawing on current scholarly evidence in sub-Saharan Africa, which emphasises relationality and societal values and norms shaping experiences of well-being, we propose future directions and discuss implications for empirical research and theory building within positive psychology which seeks to centre Africa and African experiences.
... Self-concordance refers to the degree to which autonomy (internal motivation) is experienced when pursuing a goal (Werner et al., 2016). Research has found that pursuing self-concordant goals, i.e., goals that are aligned with intrinsic values, is associated with better goal progress and, ultimately, attainment (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;Sheldon & Elliot, 1999). ...
Chapter
Child marriage has been identified as a violation of human rights and an obstacle to promoting the development goals concerning gender, health and education. All these impacts undermine the development of the girl child. Despite the potential for negative outcomes, the presence of intrinsic and extrinsic resources can buffer the adverse effects (e.g., psychological, physical and economic impact) of early marriage. This study employed a qualitative exploratory, descriptive design to explore and describe protective resources utilised by married girls in the Northern region of Ghana to cope with the challenges in their marriage and to promote positive outcomes. Using semi-structured interviews, data was collected from 21 married girls who were aged between 12 and 19 years. Findings, from a thematic analysis of data, showed that intrinsic resources that promoted positive outcomes included possession of resilience attitudes, the use of help-seeking and active coping, and in some instances avoidance coping for problems they perceived as unsolvable. Extrinsic resources included interpersonal support networks, however, participants reported limited access to community and NGO support, which were also identified as protective resources. Policy makers and clinicians should consider a social justice approach in evaluating and recommending protective resources to girls in early marriages when working to promote their well-being. In so doing, attention should be placed on making external support systems accessible to married girls.
... Psychological models of self-control have since evolved, and there is some debate about how well dual-process models reflect the self-control process (Inzlicht et al., 2021;Milyavskaya et al., 2019). However, contemporary research on self-control still generally views temptations as being in opposition to the pursuit of one's long-term goal (Berkman et al., 2017;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). But not all theories of self-control view temptations as detrimental to the enactment of self-control. ...
Article
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The asymmetry hypothesis of counteractive control theory suggests that—at least for successful self-regulators—exposure to temptations facilitates the accessibility of goal-related cognitive constructs, whereas exposure to goals inhibits the accessibility of temptation-related cognitive constructs. Using a lexical decision task, Fishbach et al., 2003 (Study 3) found that this asymmetry existed even at an automatic level of processing. In this attempted replication, 221 students completed a lexical decision task that included goal-related and temptation-related stimuli words preceded by either a goal-related prime, a temptation-related prime, or an irrelevant prime. Unlike the original study, we found only significant priming effects, where temptation-primes facilitated the recognition of goal-related words and goal-primes likewise facilitated the recognition of temptation-related words. We did not replicate the previously reported asymmetry. Additionally, we found no significant moderation of the hypothesized priming asymmetry by any of the traits of self-regulatory success, construal level, temptation strength, or self-control, again failing to replicate prior findings. The same priming patterns were found among participants who completed the study in-lab and those who completed the study online. This replication study suggests that the cognitive associations between goals and temptations are relatively symmetric and faciliatory, at least during the initial, automatic level of cognitive processing.
... A potential application of this research could be in the development of exercises and rituals that might promote psychological well-being and enhance goal pursuit (Milyavskaya et al., 2015;A. D. Tian et al., 2018). ...
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During Ramadan, people of Muslim faith fast by not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset. This is likely to have physiological and psychological consequences for fasters, and societal and economic impacts on the wider population. We investigate whether, during this voluntary and temporally limited fast, reminders of food can impair the fasters’ reaction time and accuracy on a non-food-related test of cognitive control. Using a repeated measures design in a sample of Ramadan fasters ( N = 190), we find that when food is made salient, fasters are slower and less accurate during Ramadan compared with after Ramadan. Control participants perform similarly across time. Furthermore, during Ramadan performances vary by how recently people had their last meal. Potential mechanisms are suggested, grounded in research on resource scarcity, commitment, and thought suppression, as well as the psychology of rituals and self-regulation, and implications for people who fast for religious or health reasons are discussed.
... Features of this concept were set forth by Jones and Verstegen (1997) in their theory of moral approbation. Milyavskaya et al. (2015) explain that ethical motivations shaped by value-based desires can help protect consumers against the influence of temptation, boosting self-regulation and supporting self-control imbued automatically. Pursuing want-to goals are intrinsically satisfying and offer internal or natural incentives (Cantor and Blanton, 1996), which can endorse a decision not to buy. ...
... Secondly, in the integrative self-control model, the higher-order goal that promotes a conflict is "pursued intentionally and associated with declarative expectations of long-term benefits" (Kotabe & Hofmann, 2015, p. 619). Moreover, studies stressed that autonomous goals, which are important for the self (e.g., want-to motivation), were associated more with effortful self-control acts than with controlled goals, which are not important for the self (haveto motivation) (Converse et al., 2019;Milyavskaya et al., 2015). Finally, studies on self-control excluded participants who did not report a goal that was important to them. ...
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The replication crisis in psychology has led to question popular phenomena such as ego depletion, which has been criticized after studies failed to replicate. Here, we describe limitations in the literature that contributed to these failures and suggest how they may be addressed. At the theoretical level, the literature focuses on two out of at least eight identified auxiliary hypotheses. Thus, the majority of the hypotheses related to the three core assumptions of the ego-depletion theory have been overlooked, thereby preventing the rejection of the theory as a whole. At the experimental level, we argue that the low replicability of ego-depletion studies could be explained by the absence of a comprehensive, integrative, and falsifiable definition of self-control, which is central to the concept of ego depletion; by an unclear or absent distinction between ego depletion and mental fatigue, two phenomena that rely on different processes; and by the low validity of the tasks used to induce ego depletion. Finally, we make conceptual and methodological suggestions for a more rigorous investigation of ego depletion, discuss the necessity to take into account its dynamic and multicomponent nature, and suggest using the term self-control fatigue instead.
... Furthermore, by resisting temptations and conflicting desires, as well as dealing with obstacles to goal pursuit (Milyavskaya et al., 2015), intrinsic motivation facilitates nonconscious processing, development of automaticity of behavior, and avoidance of mental fatigue and boredom. Intrinsic motivation also makes alternative activities look less attractive and more costly. ...
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Much of everyday life consists of obligatory long-term behaviors, from work itself to doing dishes. Although some activities (e.g., exercise) are harder than others, even the seemingly easy activities can turn into hard ones when repeated monotonously day after day. It is proposed that this paradox has its roots in two fundamental human tendencies: (a) following the path of least resistance and (b) avoiding monotony, boredom, and even stimulus deprivation. How does the human mind operate in the presence of these tendencies to get everyday tasks and activities completed? The first tendency is manifested in gradual reduction of conscious processing and incremental increase in nonconscious processing. Constant repeats of demanding behaviors reduce cognitive strain and energy consumption, enhancing automaticity through the strengthened cue-behavior link. Automaticity in turn makes task performance easier and more efficient, resulting in a greater likelihood of getting everyday behaviors done. However, the sheer repeating of behavior is not enough; rather, a key is to repeat-with-variety, which posits that conscious interjection of variability into routine patterns facilitates the completion of both demanding and nondemanding behaviors in the long run. It is important, however, that such conscious intervention does not activate a sense of freedom about engagement because if it did, the elevated sense of freedom would undermine attempts to repeat behaviors and complete tasks. Understanding task completion also requires a consideration of the object of consciousness: Being unconscious of the mental processes motivating an action but conscious of the experience of doing the action.
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Affect and emotion have potent motivational properties that can be leveraged to promote desirable behavior change. Although interventions often employ fear appeals in an effort to motivate change, both theory and a growing body of empirical evidence suggest that positive affect and emotions can promote change by serving as proximal rewards for desired behaviors. This article reviews examples of such efforts in the domains of healthy diet and exercise, prosocial behavior, and pro-environmental behavior, documenting the strong potential offered by behavioral interventions using this approach. The extent to which positive affect experience prospectively drives behavior change (as distinct from rewarding the desired behavior) is less clear. However, a variety of possible indirect pathways involving incidental effects of positive affect and specific positive emotions deserve rigorous future study.
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Some people report encountering fewer obstacles during goal pursuit than others, but why is this the case? Seven pre-registered studies examine the role of goal motivation (want-to and have-to) and trait self-control in how individuals set up and perceive obstacles to goal pursuit in their environment. Findings show that want-to motivation and trait self-control were associated with reducing the experience of obstacles; have-to motivation was associated with a preference for greater proximity to obstacles. Have-to motivation was related to stronger perceptions of obstacles as problematic, and trait self-control was related to the perception of obstacles as less problematic. Discussion centers on nuances regarding these relations and their existence in different contexts, and on implications for self-regulation and motivation.
Chapter
Selbstkontrolle, ein Prozess metakognitiver Steuerung, ist als Determinante individueller Lernprozesse hinreichend wissenschaftlich belegt und längst als ein Ziel von Interventionsmaßnahmen im schulischen Kontext etabliert. Damit ist eine Auseinandersetzung mit den Modellen von Selbstkontrolle, die die moderne Psychologie zur Verfügung stellt, auch für die pädagogische Praxis von Bedeutung: Jeder Zugang zu Intervention hängt untrennbar damit zusammen, wie Selbstkontrolle konzeptualisiert wird. Dem klassischen und in der Praxis weit verbreiteten Ressourcen-Modell der Selbstkontrolle wird ein theoretisch und empirisch überzeugend abgesichertes Verständnis von Selbstkontrolle als Ergebnis wertbasierter Entscheidung gegenübergestellt. Konsequenzen für die Möglichkeit pädagogischer Einflussnahme, die sich aus den unterschiedlichen Perspektiven auf Selbstkontrolle ableiten lassen, werden beleuchtet.
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There are many ways in which researchers ask participants about their personal goals or projects, yet findings are subsequently considered interchangeable. This study experimentally tested whether different ways of asking participants about their goals elicits different goals and impacts reports of goal progress. Undergraduate participants (N = 285) were assigned to one of three conditions (personal projects, personal goals, open-ended goals), listed an unlimited number of goals they were currently pursing, rated each goal on a series of goal characteristics, and six weeks later reported on their goal progress. Results indicated that participants reported significantly more goals in the personal project condition than in the other two conditions, and that these goals were rated as less difficult. Overall, the present study provides further insight into the effects of the elicitation methods employed in goal pursuit research.
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Controlling impulses and overcoming temptations (i.e., self-control) are key aspects of living a productive life. There is a growing yet disperse literature indicating that sleep is an important predictor of self-control. The goal of this meta-analysis is to empirically integrate the findings from multiple literatures, and investigate whether sleep quality, and sleep duration predict self-control. To provide a thorough understanding of the proposed relationships, this meta-analysis also investigated potential differences between the level of analysis (between-individual vs. within-individual), research design (experiment vs. correlation; and cross-sectional vs. time-lagged), and types of measure (subjective vs. objective for sleep and self-control). A systematic review was conducted through ABI/Inform (including PsycInfo), ERIC, ProQuest Dissertation & Theses, PubMed, and Psychology Database using keywords related to self-control and sleep. Sixty-one independent studies met the inclusion criteria. The results, in general, suggest that sleep quality (between-individual 0.26, CI 0.21; 0.31; and within-individual 0.35, CI 0.24; 0.45), and sleep duration (between-individual 0.14, CI 0.07; 0.21; and within-individual 0.20, CI 0.09; 0.31) are all related to self-control. Given the impact of self-control on how individuals live productive lives, a future research agenda should include a deeper investigation in the causal process (potentially via prefrontal cortex activity) linking sleep and self-control, and an examination of the moderators (individual and contextual variables) that could impact the relationship between sleep and self-control.
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Objectives: To conduct an empirical test of a conceptual model in which sleep duration would have an indirect negative effect on cyber incivility at work, mediated by self-regulatory fatigue and moderated by agreeableness. Design: A 2-week daily diary study in which employees completed daily surveys in the mornings and at the end of the workday. Setting: An observational study which measured sleep and work behaviors in the daily work lives of our participants. Participants: One hundred thirty-one adults who were full-time employees and were also enrolled in a 2-year Executive Post Graduate Program at a university in India. Measurement: Participants completed a baseline survey which included agreeableness as well as demographics and person-level control variables. At 7 AM each workday, we sent participants the morning survey which included the sleep measure. At 4 PM each workday, we sent participant the end of workday survey which included measures of self-regulatory fatigue, cyber incivility, and day-level control variables. Participants completed a total of 945 morning surveys and 843 afternoon surveys. Results: Results supported our model. Sleep duration was negatively associated with self-regulatory fatigue, which was positively related to cyber incivility. Agreeableness moderated the relationship between sleep duration and self-regulatory fatigue, as well as the indirect effect of sleep duration on cyber incivility. Conclusion: Employees have more self-regulatory fatigue and thus engage in higher levels of cyber incivility at work after a shorter night of sleep, especially if those employees are low in agreeableness.
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We examined the spontaneous use and effectiveness of financial self-control strategies in individuals' everyday spending. In Study 1 (N = 377), participants who listed the strategies they personally already use at intake and several times throughout a month spent an average $228 less that month than participants in a control group. In contrast, participants who were provided with strategies that have been empirically tested and published or participants who were provided with strategies identified by a separate sample of lay individuals did not spend significantly less than control participants. In Study 2 (N = 308), we replicated this finding with a more immediate measure of actual spending (added up reports on the 31 days of the month). Participants who listed the strategies they personally already use at intake and several times throughout the month spent an average $236 less that month than participants in a control group. In contrast, participants who were provided with six established strategies spent an average $50 less that month than participants in a control group, which was not significant. In Study 3 (N = 339), we found that better fit of the strategies with participants' personality and better fit with the spending situation were linked to making fewer hypothetical spending decisions. In other words, personally generated self-control strategies might be more effective at promoting goal pursuit than provided strategies because they fit the person who generates them better.
Chapter
The self-concordance model proposes that the concordance of goals and meaning may be associated with higher levels of well-being. But is this the case for specific life domains such as the interpersonal relationships domain? Are the patterns of goals and meaning alignment the same for different sociodemographic subgroups? As no studies could be sourced on this topic, this study explores these dynamics. Open-ended questions on important goals and meaningful things, a sociodemographic questionnaire, and selected well-being questionnaires were administered to a multicultural South African sample (N = 585) in a convergent parallel mixed methods research design. The content of the qualitative data were coded and converted to quantitative data. Associations between alignment patterns and selected sociodemographic variables were explored via contingency tables and Pearson’s chi-square test. A MANOVA was performed followed by a series of one-way ANOVAs to explore associations between alignment patterns and well-being variables. Alignment patterns were found to be associated with age, gender, level of education, and work status, and the MHC-SF (total score) index of well-being. Despite the statistically significant association of alignment patterns with the MHC-SF, the self-concordance model was not supported in this study with reference to the interpersonal relationships domain, as the both-goal-and-meaning pattern did not reveal a higher level of well-being compared to other patterns as predicted by the self-concordance model.
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Students often work on academic tasks in the face of an attractive alternative. In an experimental setting, we examined how students perceive temptation differently across time depending on their self-efficacy for self-regulated learning and autonomy-supportive contexts. Specifically, we focussed on how individual differences in self-efficacy for self-regulated learning interact with different autonomy-supportive contexts (provision of either choice or relevance) to predict students’ perceived temptation, affect, and performance across time. Results indicated that students low in self-efficacy for self-regulated learning perceived an increase in temptation across time, while those high in self-efficacy for self-regulated learning perceived a decrease in temptation across time. Moreover, we found that especially for students with low self-efficacy for self-regulated learning, providing choice opportunities or adding relevance to the task predicted lower temptation, higher positive affect, and lower negative affect.
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People generally prefer easier over more difficult mental tasks. Using two different adaptations of a demand selection task, we show that interest can influence this effect, such that participants choose options with a higher cognitive workload. Interest was also associated with lower feelings of fatigue. In two studies, participants ( N = 63 and N = 158) repeatedly made a choice between completing a difficult or easy math problem. Results show that liking math predicts choosing more difficult (vs. easy) math problems (even after controlling for perceived math skill). Two additional studies used the Academic Diligence Task ( Galla et al., 2014 ), where high school students ( N = 447 and N = 884) could toggle between a math task and playing a video game/watching videos. In these studies, we again find that math interest relates to greater proportion of time spent on the math problems. Three of these four studies also examined perceived fatigue, finding that interest relates to lower fatigue. An internal meta-analysis of the four studies finds a small but robust effect of interest on both the willingness to exert greater effort and the experience of less fatigue (despite engaging in more effort).
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Many psychological theories suggest a link between self-regulation and identity, but until now a mechanistic account that suggests ways to improve self-regulation has not been put forth. The identity-value model (IVM) connects the idea from social psychology, that aspects of identity such as core values and group affiliations hold positive subjective value, to the process-focused account from decision-making and behavioral economics, that self-regulation is driven by a dynamic value integration across a range of choice attributes. Together, these ideas imply that goal-directed behaviors that are identity-relevant are more likely to be enacted because they have greater subjective value than identity-irrelevant behaviors. A central hypothesis, therefore, is that interventions that increase the degree to which a target behavior is perceived as self-relevant will improve self-regulation. Additionally, identity-based changes in self-regulation are expected to be mediated by changes in subjective value and its underlying neural systems. In this paper, we define the key constructs relevant to the IVM, explicate the model and delineate its boundary conditions, and describe how it fits with related theories. We also review disparate results in the research literature that might share identity-related value as a common underlying mechanism of action. We close by discussing questions about the model whose answers could advance the study of self-regulation.
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The identity-value model (IVM) posits that goal-directed behaviors that are identity-relevant are more likely to be enacted because they have greater subjective value than identity-irrelevant behaviors. The IVM builds upon results from social psychology that aspects of identity (e.g., core values, social identities, personal goals) hold positive value and from behavioral economics that behavior is driven by a subjective value calculation that integrates input from many sources. The IVM is consistent with evidence from neuroscience that value integration and self- processing occur in the ventromedial prefrontal cortex. We review related theories, define key constructs, explicate the model, and delineate its boundary conditions. We also present results in the research literature that can be mechanistically explained by the IVM and connected to one another through the construct of subjective value imparted by identity. We close by discussing questions about the model whose answers could advance the study of self-regulation.
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Experience sampling or ecological momentary assessment offers unique insights into how people think, feel, and behave in their natural environments. Because the method is able to capture situational variation as it happens in “real time,” experience sampling has become an increasingly popular method in social and personality, psychology, and beyond. With the ubiquity of smartphone ownership and the recent technical advances, conducting experience sampling studies on participants’ own devices has become increasingly easy to do. Here, we present one reliable, user-friendly, highly customizable, and cost-effective solution. The web-based application, SurveySignal, integrates the idea of using short message service (SMS) messages as signals and reminders, according to fixed or random schedules and of linking these signals to mobile surveys designed with common online survey software. We describe the method and customizable parameters and then present evaluation results from nine social–psychological studies conducted with SurveySignal (overall N = 1,852). Mean response rates averaged 77% and the median response delay to signals was 8 min. An experimental manipulation of the reminder signal in one study showed that installing a reminder SMS led to a 10% increase in response rates. Next to advantages and limitations of the SMS approach, we discuss how ecologically valid research methods such as smartphone experience sampling can enrich psychological research.
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There has been a rush of research on self-control in the past decade. And it is no wonder: Self-control is thought to underlie an impressive array of behavior, and its fail-ure, the root of societal ills ranging from financial debt to marital infidelity, from obesity to criminality (Baumeister, Heatherton, & Tice, 1994). Self-control—known colloqui-ally as willpower and more formally as executive function—refers to the mental processes that allow peo-ple to overcome urges, juggle competing tasks, and sus-tain attention. Part of the excitement surrounding this research is the promise of what it can uncover: By studying how self-control works, we can discover how to improve it. Many of us would like to know how to better control our behavior, and reducing self-control to its basic operations may facilitate this. Here, we provide a framework that helps organize various methods that have been used to improve self-control. We expand upon the well-known cybernetic model of control by identifying various overlooked mechanisms relevant to self-control. Cybernetic principles suggest that control relies on three separate processes: setting goals, monitoring when behavior conflicts with these goals, and implementing behavior that supports these goals. We hone in on each of these processes and integrate impor-tant features within each stage, including setting the " right kind " of goals; the role of conflict detection, atten-tion, and emotional acceptance in goal monitoring; and the effects of fatigue and intentions on implementing changes in behavior. By revealing self-control as jointly reliant on these diverse processes, we suggest some ways in which this difficult-to-master skill can be developed.
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In contrast to prevailing beliefs, recent research suggests that trait self-control promotes health behavior not because those high in self-control are more successful at resisting single temptations, but rather because they develop adaptive habits. The present paper presents a first empirical test of this novel suggestion by investigating the mediating role of habit in explaining the relation between self-control and unhealthy snacking behavior. Results showed that self-control was negatively associated with unhealthy snack consumption and unhealthy snacking habits. As hypothesized, the relation between self-control and unhealthy snack intake was mediated by habit strength. Self-control was not associated with fruit consumption or fruit consumption habits. These results provide the first evidence for the notion that high self-control may influence the formation of habits and in turn affect behavior. Moreover, results imply that self-control may be particularly influential in case of inhibiting unhealthy food intake rather than promoting healthy food intake.
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The ability to control desires, whether for food, sex, or drugs, enables people to function successfully within society. Yet, in tempting situations, strong impulses often result in self-control failure. Although many triggers of self-control failure have been identified, the question remains as to why some individuals are more likely than others to give in to temptation. In this study, we combined functional neuroimaging and experience sampling to determine if there are brain markers that predict whether people act on their food desires in daily life. We examined food-cue-related activity in the nucleus accumbens (NAcc), as well as activity associated with response inhibition in the inferior frontal gyrus (IFG). Greater NAcc activity was associated with greater likelihood of self-control failures, whereas IFG activity supported successful resistance to temptations. These findings demonstrate an important role for the neural mechanisms underlying desire and self-control in people's real-world experiences of temptations.
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Previous research has shown that self-concordant goals are more likely to be attained. But what leads someone to adopt a self-concordant goal in the first place? The present research addresses this question by looking at the domains in which goals are set, focusing on the amount of psychological need satisfaction experienced in these domains. Across three experimental studies, we demonstrate that domain-related need satisfaction predicts the extent to which people adopt self-concordant goals in a given domain, laying the foundation for successful goal pursuit. In addition, we show that need satisfaction influences goal self-concordance because in need-satisfying domains people are both more likely to choose the most self-concordant goal (among a set of comparable choices), and are more likely to internalize the possible goals. The implications of this research for goal setting and pursuit as well as for the importance of examining goals within their broader motivational framework are discussed.
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This chapter reviews the use of formal dual process models in social psychology, with a focus on the process dissociation model and related multinomial models. The utility of the models is illustrated using studies of social and affective influences on memory, judgement and decision making, and social attitudes and stereotypes. We then compare and contrast the process dissociation model with other approaches, including implicit and explicit tests, signal detection theory, and multinomial models. Finally we show how several recently proposed multinomial models can be integrated into a single family of models, of which process dissociation is a specific instance. We describe how these process models can be used as both theoretical and measurement tools to answer questions about the role of automatic and controlled processes in social behaviour.
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In 3 studies, the authors examined how autonomous and controlled forms of motivation for the regulation of eating behaviors were related to self-reported eating behaviors, and sustained dietary behavior change. Studies 1 and 2 supported the factorial structure and the psychometric properties of a scale designed to measure different forms of regulation as defined by Self-Determination Theory. A motivational model of the regulation of eating behaviors suggested that an autonomous regulation was positively associated with healthy eating behaviors whereas a controlled regulation was positively associated with dysfunctional eating behaviors and negatively associated with healthy eating behaviors. In Study 3, long-term adherence to healthier dietary behaviors in a population at risk for coronary artery disease was examined over a 26-week period. A general measure of self-determined motivation assessed at week 1 was found to be a reliable predictor of the level of self-determination for eating behaviors 13 weeks later. In turn, self-determination for eating behaviors was a significant predictor of dietary behavior changes at 26 weeks. Finally, the dietary behavior measures were related to improvements in weight and blood lipid parameters (LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, triglycerides). Results are discussed in terms of their implication for the integration and maintenance of a successful healthy regulation.
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The present research shows in 4 studies that cognitive load can reduce the impact of temptations on cognition and behavior and, thus, challenges the proposition that distraction always hampers self-regulation. Participants performed different speeded categorization tasks with pictures of attractive and neutral food items (Studies 1-3) and attractive and unattractive female faces (Study 4), while we assessed their reaction times as an indicator of selective attention (Studies 1, 3, and 4) or as an indicator of hedonic thoughts about food (Study 2). Cognitive load was manipulated by a concurrent digit span task. Results show that participants displayed greater attention to tempting stimuli (Studies 1, 3, and 4) and activated hedonic thoughts in response to palatable food (Study 2), but high cognitive load completely eliminated these effects. Moreover, cognitive load during the exposure to attractive food reduced food cravings (Study 1) and increased healthy food choices (Study 3). Finally, individual differences in sensitivity to food temptations (Study 3) and interest in alternative relationship partners (Study 4) predicted selective attention to attractive stimuli, but again, only when cognitive load was low. Our findings suggest that recognizing the tempting value of attractive stimuli in our living environment requires cognitive resources. This has the important implication that, contrary to traditional views, performing a concurrent demanding task may actually diminish the captivating power of temptation and thus facilitate self-regulation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).
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When people encounter problems in translating their goals into action (e.g., failing to get started, becoming distracted, or falling into bad habits), they may strategically call on automatic processes in an attempt to secure goal attainment. This can be achieved by plans in the form of implementation intentions that link anticipated critical situations to goal-directed responses ("Whenever situation x arises, I will initiate the goal-directed response y!"). Implementation intentions delegate the control of goal-directed responses to anticipated situational cues, which (when actually encountered) elicit these responses automatically. A program of research demonstrates that implementation intentions further the attainment of goals, and it reveals the underlying processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Though human beings embody a unique ability for planned behavior, they also often act impulsively. This insight may be important for the study of self-control situations in which people are torn between their long-term goals to restrain behavior and their immediate impulses that promise hedonic fulfillment. In the present article, we outline a dual-systems perspective of impulse and self-control and suggest a framework for the prediction of self-control outcomes. This framework combines three elements that, considered jointly, may enable a more precise prediction of self-control outcomes than they do when studied in isolation: impulsive precursors of behavior, reflective precursors, and situational or dispositional boundary conditions. The theoretical and practical utility of such an approach is demonstrated by drawing on recent evidence from several domains of self-control such as eating, drinking, and sexual behavior. © 2009 Association for Psychological Science.
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Four studies investigate asymmetric shifts in the implicit value of goal and temptation that pose a self-control dilemma. We find that accessible goals reduce the implicit positive valence of tempting alternatives, whereas accessible temptations increase the implicit positive valence of goal alternatives. We observe these asymmetric shifts across two self-regulatory domains: healthful food consumption (vs. indulgence) and the pursuit of academic excellence (vs. leisure). These findings suggest that two conflicting motivations can exert opposite influence on each other’s implicit evaluation.
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How often and how strongly do people experience desires, to what extent do their desires conflict with other goals, and how often and successfully do people exercise self-control to resist their desires? To investigate desire and attempts to control desire in everyday life, we conducted a large-scale experience sampling study based on a conceptual framework integrating desire strength, conflict, resistance (use of self-control), and behavior enactment. A sample of 205 adults wore beepers for a week. They furnished 7,827 reports of desire episodes and completed personality measures of behavioral inhibition system/behavior activation system (BIS/BAS) sensitivity, trait self-control, perfectionism, and narcissistic entitlement. Results suggest that desires are frequent, variable in intensity, and largely unproblematic. Those urges that do conflict with other goals tend to elicit resistance, with uneven success. Desire strength, conflict, resistance, and self-regulatory success were moderated in multiple ways by personality variables as well as by situational and interpersonal factors such as alcohol consumption, the mere presence of others, and the presence of others who already had enacted the desire in question. Whereas personality generally had a stronger impact on the dimensions of desire that emerged early in its course (desire strength and conflict), situational factors showed relatively more influence on components later in the process (resistance and behavior enactment). In total, these findings offer a novel and detailed perspective on the nature of everyday desires and associated self-regulatory successes and failures.
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Given assertions of the theoretical, empirical, and practical importance of self-control, this meta-analytic study sought to review evidence concerning the relationship between dispositional self-control and behavior. The authors provide a brief overview over prominent theories of self-control, identifying implicit assumptions surrounding the effects of self-control that warrant empirical testing. They report the results of a meta-analysis of 102 studies (total N = 32,648) investigating the behavioral effects of self-control using the Self-Control Scale, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and the Low Self-Control Scale. A small to medium positive effect of self-control on behavior was found for the three scales. Only the Self-Control Scale allowed for a fine-grained analysis of conceptual moderators of the self-control behavior relation. Specifically, self-control (measured by the Self-Control Scale) related similarly to the performance of desired behaviors and the inhibition of undesired behaviors, but its effects varied dramatically across life domains (e.g., achievement, adjustment). In addition, the associations between self-control and behavior were significantly stronger for automatic (as compared to controlled) behavior and for imagined (as compared to actual) behavior.
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A neglected question regarding cognitive control is how control processes might detect situations calling for their involvement. The authors propose here that the demand for control may be evaluated in part by monitoring for conflicts in information processing. This hypothesis is supported by data concerning the anterior cingulate cortex, a brain area involved in cognitive control, which also appears to respond to the occurrence of conflict. The present article reports two computational modeling studies, serving to articulate the conflict monitoring hypothesis and examine its implications. The first study tests the sufficiency of the hypothesis to account for brain activation data, applying a measure of conflict to existing models of tasks shown to engage the anterior cingulate. The second study implements a feedback loop connecting conflict monitoring to cognitive control, using this to simulate a number of important behavioral phenomena.
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Two studies used the self-concordance model of healthy goal striving (K. M. Sheldon & A. J. Elliot, 1999) to examine the motivational processes by which people can increase their level of well-being during a period of time and then maintain the gain or perhaps increase it even further during the next period of time. In Study I, entering freshmen with self-concordant motivation better attained their 1st-semester goals, which in turn predicted increased adjustment and greater self-concordance for the next semester's goals. Increased self-concordance in turn predicted even better goal attainment during the 2nd semester, which led to further increases in adjustment and to higher levels of ego development by the end of the year. Study 2 replicated the basic model in a 2-week study of short-term goals set in the laboratory. Limits of the model and implications for the question of how (and whether) happiness may be increased are discussed.
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Self-control is typically viewed as a key ingredient responsible for effective self-regulation and personal goal attainment. This study used experience sampling, daily diary, and prospective data collection to investigate the immediate and semester-long consequences of effortful self-control and temptations on depletion and goal attainment. Results showed that goal attainment was influenced by experiences of temptations rather than by actively resisting or controlling those temptations. This study also found that simply experiencing temptations led people to feel depleted. Depletion in turn mediated the link between temptations and goal attainment, such that people who experienced increased temptations felt more depleted and thus less likely to achieve their goals. Critically, results of Bayesian analyses strongly indicate that effortful self-control was consistently unrelated to goal attainment throughout all analyses.
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Although observers of human behavior have long been aware that people regularly struggle with internal conflict when deciding whether to behave responsibly or indulge in impulsivity, psychologists and economists did not begin to empirically investigate this type of want/should conflict until recently. In this article, we review and synthesize the latest research on want/should conflict, focusing our attention on the findings from an empirical literature on the topic that has blossomed over the last 15 years. We then turn to a discussion of how individuals and policy makers can use what has been learned about want/should conflict to help decision makers select far-sighted options. © 2008, Association for Psychological Science. All rights reserved.
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Six studies explore the role of goal shielding in self-regulation:by examining how the activation of focal goals to which the individual is committed inhibits the accessibility, of alternative goals. Consistent evidence was found for such goal shielding, and a number of its moderators were identified: Individuals' level of commitment to the focal goal, their degree of anxiety and depression, their need for cognitive closure, and differences in their goal-related tenacity. Moreover, inhibition of alternative goals was found to be, more pronounced when they serve the same overarching purpose as the focal goal, but lessened when the alternative goals facilitate focal goal attainment. Finally; goal shielding was shown to have beneficial consequences for goal pursuit and attainment.
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Intrinsic and extrinsic types of motivation have been widely studied, and the distinction between them has shed important light on both developmental and educational practices. In this review we revisit the classic definitions of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation in light of contemporary research and theory. Intrinsic motivation remains an important construct, reflecting the natural human propensity to learn and assimilate. However, extrinsic motivation is argued to vary considerably in its relative autonomy and thus can either reflect external control or true self-regulation. The relations of both classes of motives to basic human needs for autonomy, competence and relatedness are discussed.
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In reporting Implicit Association Test (IAT) results, researchers have most often used scoring conventions described in the first publication of the IAT (A. G. Greenwald, D. E. McGhee, & J. L. K. Schwartz, 1998). Demonstration IATs available on the Internet have produced large data sets that were used in the current article to evaluate alternative scoring procedures. Candidate new algorithms were examined in terms of their (a) correlations with parallel self-report measures, (b) resistance to an artifact associated with speed of responding, (c) internal consistency, (d) sensitivity to known influences on IAT measures, and (e) resistance to known procedural influences. The best-performing measure incorporates data from the IAT's practice trials, uses a metric that is calibrated by each respondent's latency variability, and includes a latency penalty for errors. This new algorithm strongly outperforms the earlier (conventional) procedure.
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Self-control is of invaluable importance for well-being. While previous research has focused on self-control failure, we introduce a new perspective on self-control, including the notion of effortless self-control, and a focus on self-control success rather than failure. We propose that effortless strategies of dealing with response conflict (i.e., competing behavioral tendencies) are what distinguishes successful self-controllers from less successful ones. While people with high trait self-control may recognize the potential for response conflict in self-control dilemmas, they do not seem to subjectively experience this conflict as much as people with low self-control. Two strategies may underlie this difference: avoidance of response conflict through adaptive, habitual behaviors, and the efficient downregulating of response conflict. These strategies as well as the role of response conflict are elaborated upon and discussed in the light of existing literature on self-control.
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Why does self-control predict such a wide array of positive life outcomes? Conventional wisdom holds that self-control is used to effortfully inhibit maladaptive impulses, yet this view conflicts with emerging evidence that self-control is associated with less inhibition in daily life. We propose that one of the reasons individuals with better self-control use less effortful inhibition, yet make better progress on their goals is that they rely on beneficial habits. Across 6 studies (total N = 2,274), we found support for this hypothesis. In Study 1, habits for eating healthy snacks, exercising, and getting consistent sleep mediated the effect of self-control on both increased automaticity and lower reported effortful inhibition in enacting those behaviors. In Studies 2 and 3, study habits mediated the effect of self-control on reduced motivational interference during a work-leisure conflict and on greater ability to study even under difficult circumstances. In Study 4, homework habits mediated the effect of self-control on classroom engagement and homework completion. Study 5 was a prospective longitudinal study of teenage youth who participated in a 5-day meditation retreat. Better self-control before the retreat predicted stronger meditation habits 3 months after the retreat, and habits mediated the effect of self-control on successfully accomplishing meditation practice goals. Finally, in Study 6, study habits mediated the effect of self-control on homework completion and 2 objectively measured long-term academic outcomes: grade point average and first-year college persistence. Collectively, these results suggest that beneficial habits-perhaps more so than effortful inhibition-are an important factor linking self-control with positive life outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
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Previous research has demonstrated that people set and pursue more self-concordant goals in domains where they experience the satisfaction of psychological needs (Milyavskaya, Nadolny, & Koestner, 2014). However, the mechanism for this has not been investigated. The present study proposes that authenticity experienced in a domain mediates the relationship between domain need satisfaction and goal self-concordance. Using multilevel structural equation modeling, we investigate two components of authenticity and find that only authentic behaviour, but not authentic awareness, relates to goal self-concordance and acts as a mediator. We also test an alternative model, ruling out the possibility that need satisfaction is influenced by authenticity.
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Self-control refers to the mental processes that allow people to override thoughts and emotions, thus enabling behavior to vary adaptively from moment to moment. Dominating contemporary research on this topic is the viewpoint that self-control relies upon a limited resource, such that engaging in acts of restraint depletes this inner capacity and undermines subsequent attempts at control (i.e., ego depletion). Noting theoretical and empirical problems with this view, here we advance a competing model that develops a non-resource-based account of self-control. We suggest that apparent regulatory failures reflect the motivated switching of task priorities as people strive to strike an optimal balance between engaging cognitive labor to pursue “have-to” goals versus preferring cognitive leisure in the pursuit of “want-to” goals.
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Even when goals are self-generated, they may not feel truly "personal," that is, autonomous and self-integrated. In three studies (one concurrent and two prospective), we found that the autonomy of personal goals predicted goal attainment. In contrast, the strength of "controlled" motivation did not predict attainment. Studies 2 and 3 validated a mediational model in which autonomy led to attainment because it promoted sustained effort investment. In Study 3, the Goal Attainment Scaling methodology was used to provide a more objective measure of goal attainment, and additional analyses were performed to rule out expectancy, value, and expectancy x value explanations of the autonomy-to-attainment effects. Results are discussed in terms of contemporary models of volition and self-regulation.