All About Self-Control

Self-control separates us from our ancient ancestors and the rest of the animal kingdom, thanks to our large prefrontal cortices. Rather than responding to immediate impulses, we can plan, we can evaluate alternative actions, and we can refrain from doing things we'll regret. We can also take advantage of these innately human abilities by developing wisdom and willpower.

Recent Posts on Self-Control

You Will Get Closer to Your Children By NOT Doing This.....

The best discipline you can give your child is having the self-discipline to not make this very common parenting mistake.

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 3

Tragically, since recorded history corporal punishment has been the “default” system for disciplining children. In the past century, however, evidence demonstrating its ineffectiveness has mounted to the degree that it can no longer—whether ethically or pragmatically—be justified. It’s therefore regrettable that today it's still common in the U.S.

You Are Your Child’s “First Verb”

"First Verb Parenting" sees parents as a “child’s first verb”---loving action figures giving meaning, direction, guidance, and linking---to children, their attentive subjects.

What Not to Say to a Depressed Person

By Jean Kim M.D. on July 01, 2015 in Culture Shrink
What isn’t helpful and remains a huge hurdle for the lay public to understand about depression is that it isn’t just a matter of moral failure or weakness or lack of willpower. The following comments are worth avoiding when talking to people you know going through a depressive episode:

Do Boys Need Rough and Tumble Play?

Why do boys wrestle and play pretend fighting? Do all boys do this? Should we view it as violence or innocent fun?

How to Finish What You Start

Practically everybody has started something that they've put off finishing. What's your main unfinished task? Can you use extra help?

What's the Real Purpose of Classroom Management?

By Alfie Kohn on June 25, 2015 in The Homework Myth
Is it possible that "managing" the classroom -- that is, controlling the students -- isn't always done in order to facilitate teaching but instead has become (for some educators) the ultimate goal, with the academic content chosen to achieve that goal?

Parenting Without Punishment: A Humanist Perspective, Part 2

Given the particular situation, children (like all the rest of us) are doing the best they’re capable of. So what are some ways that parents might effectively confront their child’s annoying, hazardous, or otherwise troublesome behavior—without, that is, having to punish them for it?

ART in ASD, Part One

Could imbalance in the autonomic nervous system explain the complexity and heterogeneity of autism spectrum disorder (ASD)? Could teaching kids and families affected by ASD skills in autonomic regulation broadly improve comfort and functioning? This is the first of three blog posts on our work at the Center for Applied Psychophysiology and Self-regulation at RIT.

Behavioral Economics—An Exercise in Design and Humility

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on June 23, 2015 in Consumed
What's the state of your bad decision making? Read Dan Ariely's exclusive take on irrationality and its consequences.

Why You Should Embrace Your Insecurities and Not Mask Them

Overcompensating for failure could be your downfall.

Preparing to Serve

All sub-disciplines of psychology are represented in the general field of military psychology. Thus, the field offers opportunities for psychologists with interest in clinical practice, teaching, basic and applied research, and consulting.

9 Scientific Strategies for Losing Weight Without Dieting

By Bella DePaulo Ph.D. on June 20, 2015 in Living Single
The best way to achieve your "leanest livable weight" is to forsake dieting, give up on summoning that elusive willpower, and use the findings from social science to change your environments and your ways of thinking about food. The strategies are based on research, not some bogus fad.

How Do You Handle Money?

By Michael F. Kay on June 18, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
Do you get your financial information from the ACME School of Investing and Planning?

Find Freedom and Joy in Saving Money

Do you live beyond your means and rely on credit to get you through? It's a hard habit to change, but when you finally commit to financial health it will set you free in all kinds of ways.

8 Steps to Help Your Child Develop Self Control

The brain is like a muscle -- it strengthens throughout life, depending on how it's used. Parents who are emotionally responsive, set empathic limits, model emotional regulation, and encourage children to pursue their passions will raise self-disciplined kids.

Are You Using Your Anger—or Is It Using You?

Anger can help us stand up for ourselves or give us the momentum to make the changes we need to make. But when anger is a constant state—either in a society or a person—it’s rarely useful and usually destructive.

How to Talk to an Ex

By Wendy Paris on June 16, 2015 in Splitopia
How should you talk to an ex? Ideally, as you would to a spouse, but better. Two easy ways to improve post-marriage communication.

Does It Matter If Your Child Has Self Control?

A child who can regulate his emotions can control his behavior so he's more likely to get what he wants out of life. So the question is, regardless of your child's innate ability, how can you raise a child who can manage her emotions, anxiety and impulses so that she can manage her behavior to accomplish her goals?

Owning Our Psychological Dark Matter

By Jeremy E Sherman Ph.D. on June 14, 2015 in Ambigamy
When we divvy responsibility for problems, we tend to take responsibility for consciously but not unconsciously motivated error, which can cause additional problems.

The Internal Battle of Sport

By Tim Carey Ph.D. on June 10, 2015 in In Control
Finding a space above the hum-drum, where the bigger picture becomes clearer to you, is the key to calming turbulent waters.

Why Are Teen Brains Designed for Risk-taking?

Here are four ways parents can reduce the danger

How Forgiveness Therapy Helps Emotional Eating

By Karen Salmansohn on June 09, 2015 in Bouncing Back
If you want a successful Weight Loss Plan, start with a "Hate Loss Plan."

5 Ways NOT to Deal with Anger

By Steven Laurent on June 05, 2015 in Chill Pill
Even I use the third strategy, on occasion, against my own advice...

Woodpeckers, Financial Success And You

By Michael F. Kay on June 04, 2015 in Financial Life Focus
A woodpecker lays claim to the tree right beside my bedroom window. At 4:57 AM, her work commences on a schedule only she comprehends. It feels like jackhammers blasting pavement on the pillow to my left. Incessantly banging, towards a purpose only a woodpecker could understand. When will it ever stop?

3 Steps to Resolving Conflict Within Your Family

By Aldo Civico Ph.D. on June 04, 2015 in Turning Point
Conflicts with our loved ones are the most painful to deal with.

A Child is Being Beaten—Ever or Never?

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) made famous the stark phrase “the banality of evil.” This complex idea connotes colossal destructiveness done by men of less than colossal character. The everyday pervasiveness of senseless cruelty---humankind’s inhumanity toward itself---makes it clear that the inclination of destructiveness is real. Effective parenting is primary prevention.

Anger Management Failures about "Healthy" Anger

Anger in all animals carries a powerful motivation to prevail, dominate, or retaliate.

3 Reasons We Tell Strangers More Than We Should

Have you ever told intimate details of your life to a stranger on a plane? Does your hair stylist know your whole life story? Why do we disclose so much personal information to complete strangers? Here are 3 surprising psychological reasons.

The Credit Lunch

By Alain Samson Ph.D. on May 27, 2015 in Consumed
Using credit or debit cards is associated with more hedonic purchases. Are students more susceptible to this card payment effect?