Taking stock of self-control: A meta-analysis of how trait self-control relates to a wide range of behaviors

de Ridder, Denise T. D., Lensvelt-Mulders, Gerty, Finkenauer, Catrin, Stok, F. Marijn and Baumeister, Roy F. (2012) Taking stock of self-control: A meta-analysis of how trait self-control relates to a wide range of behaviors. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 16 1: 76-99. doi:10.1177/1088868311418749


Author de Ridder, Denise T. D.
Lensvelt-Mulders, Gerty
Finkenauer, Catrin
Stok, F. Marijn
Baumeister, Roy F.
Title Taking stock of self-control: A meta-analysis of how trait self-control relates to a wide range of behaviors
Journal name Personality and Social Psychology Review   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1088-8683
1532-7957
Publication date 2012-02-01
Year available 2012
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1177/1088868311418749
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 16
Issue 1
Start page 76
End page 99
Total pages 24
Place of publication Thousand Oaks, CA United States
Publisher Sage
Language eng
Subject 3207 Social Psychology
Abstract 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.
Keyword adaptive behavior
impulsiveness
meta-analysis
self-control
self-regulation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Grant ID 1RL1AA017541
UL1-DE019586
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collection: School of Psychology Publications
 
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