Aspect of inhibitory control / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Self-control, an aspect of inhibitory control, is the ability to regulate one's emotions, thoughts, and behavior in the face of temptations and impulses.[1][2] As an executive function, it is a cognitive process that is necessary for regulating one's behavior in order to achieve specific goals.[2][3]

A related concept in psychology is emotional self-regulation.[4] Self-control is thought to be like a muscle. According to studies, self-regulation, whether emotional or behavioral, was proven to be a limited resource which functions like energy.[5] In the short term, overuse of self-control will lead to depletion.[6] However, in the long term, the use of self-control can strengthen and improve over time.[2][6]

Self-control is also a key concept in the general theory of crime, a major theory in criminology. The theory was developed by Michael Gottfredson and Travis Hirschi in their book titled A General Theory of Crime, published in 1990. Gottfredson and Hirschi define self-control as the differential tendency of individuals to avoid criminal acts independent of the situations in which they find themselves.[7] Individuals with low self-control tend to be impulsive, insensitive towards others, risk takers, short-sighted, and nonverbal. About 70% of the variance in questionnaire data operationalizing one construct of self-control had been found to be genetic.[8]