Moving beyond Inhibition: Capturing a Broader Scope of the Self-Control Construct with the Self-Control Strategy Scale (SCSS)

Maayan Katzir, Matthew Baldwin, Kaitlyn M. Werner, Wilhelm Hofmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

The purpose of the present research was to develop a more comprehensive measure of self-control that reflects recent theoretical advancements that extend beyond inhibition. Across six samples (N = 1,946, 48.95% males, Ages 18-76, US-MTurkers/Israelis), we sought to develop and validate the Self-Control Strategies Scale (SCSS), as well as examine its predictive validity across important life domains (e.g., weight, physical activity, savings). The SCSS is comprised of eight self-control strategies that represent three categories: anticipatory control (situation selection, reward, punishment, pre-commitment), down-regulation of temptation (distraction, cognitive change, acceptance), and behavioral inhibition. Results indicate that there was a strong association between the widely used Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS). and the behavioral inhibition strategy of the SCSS. While the behavioral inhibition strategy was a strong and consistent predictor of most self-control related outcomes, results further indicate that in some domains, but not others, certain strategies may be beneficial whereas others may be detrimental. While inhibition remains to be an important factor of self-control, our findings point to the importance of adapting the use of different strategies to different domains. The SCSS can therefore be used to gain a more fine-grained understanding of the self-control construct.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)762-776
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Personality Assessment
Volume103
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

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