Self Control Improvement

Superior Essays
In the scientific paper “Exploring the Mechanisms of Self-Control Improvement”, by Michael Inzlicht, Lisa Legault, and Rimma Teper, a theory is developed to describe how self-control can be improved through multiple steps. The team behind the paper used cybernetic principles to determine three separate processes for self control. Which Includes setting goals, monitoring when behavior diverges from goals, and implementing behavior aligned with goals.

Cybernetics is defined as the scientific study of control. It is broken down into three different parts, which were mentioned previously. These components receive continuous behavioral feedback and implement the appropriate action. An example is provided by the research team to describe eating
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They obviously have a more personal meaning usually. When setting goals that are aligned with personal values, it contributes to greater self-control. Now the impact of these personally driven goals all depend on quality and not quantity of motivation. Which makes more sense when thinking of all of the smaller goals being done everyday. You would most likely put more thought into picking classes for the next semester because it’s part of a bigger picture, and has been thought through more. It’s personally meaningful because it is a goal that was reflected on why it was important. This is something that can be done for smaller goals. Self-aligning them is an effective way to improve self control. So for example the student might be able to set their schedule for next year because it seems like a more personally meaningful and thought out goal, but if you apply that same semantic understanding to smaller goals (i.e. studying) and how they fit into the bigger picture it helps to improve self-control by reinterpreting these unappealing tasks as being influential to other personal …show more content…
Mental fatigue is one of the hurdles to this change. Usually after some cognitive activity a person would prefer to relax their mind, instead of working. Which leads to a decrease in motivation. This can be helped by changing a person’s perspective on the situation and re-evaluating the personal-benefits for pursuing the goal. A person has to rethink why they have to do something and hopefully that jump-starts their previous drive to complete the goal. In addition to this, a person should use a system called Implementation Intentions, Which are “behavioral plans that link anticipated situations with specified behaviors; they specify the when, where, and how of goal-directed behavior”. For example, when the student get’s home they should set up a specific plan for what they will do until they study. So get home, make food, study. By creating an anticipated situation the intended behavior will automatically queue and help to overcome fatigue.

With these three processes put together: setting goals, monitoring when behavior diverges from goals, and and implementing behavior aligned with goals. It makes for a structured plan to help improve a person’s motivation and self-control. So the student that was having academic trouble, will now be able to understand what they can do to fix the issue they have been having and improve not only their grades but self-control

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