Psychology

Self-control and authentic goals

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Science  01 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6426, pp. 495-496
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6426.495-e

Self-control often facilitates successful goal pursuit, but the exact mechanisms are multifaceted. Past research suggests that people with greater self-control feel undesirable temptations less strongly, are better able to resist strong temptations, and develop habits and routines that prevent them from having to confront temptations as often. Stavrova et al. suggest a new possibility: People with higher levels of self-control are more likely to pursue goals that they feel reflect their true, authentic selves rather than goals that are socially desirable or otherwise publicly appealing. This work suggests that self-control does not affect how people pursue their goals, but rather, it may affect the goals that people choose to pursue.

Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 10.1002/ejsp.2559 (2018).

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