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Title:Being active and impulsive: the role of goals for action and inaction in self-control
Author(s):Hepler, Justin
Advisor(s):Albarracin, Dolores
Department / Program:Psychology
Discipline:Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:M.A.
Genre:Thesis
Subject(s):Action
delay discounting
go/no-go
impulsivity
inaction
self-control
Abstract:Although self-control often requires behavioral inaction (i.e., not eating a piece of cake), the process of inhibiting impulsive behavior is commonly characterized as extremely cognitively active (i.e., actively exerting self-control). Two experiments examined whether motivation for action or inaction facilitates self-control behavior in the presence of tempting stimuli. Experiment 1 used a delay discounting task to assess the ability to delay gratification with respect to money. Experiment 2 used a Go/No-Go task to assess the ability to inhibit a dominant but incorrect motor response to the words “condom” and “sex”. The results demonstrate that general goals for inaction promote self-control, whereas general goals for action promote impulsive behavior. These findings are discussed in light of recent evidence suggesting that goals for action and inaction modulate physiological resources that promote behavioral execution.
Issue Date:2010-08-20
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/16770
Rights Information:Copyright 2010 Justin J. Helpler
Date Available in IDEALS:2010-08-20
Date Deposited:2010-08


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