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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Social and Personality Psychology Compass
Volume (Issue) 14(6)
Page(s) 1 - 16
Title of proceedings Social and Personality Psychology Compass
DOI 10.1111/spc3.v14.6

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


In a self‐control conflict, people face a dilemma between a current goal (e.g., to exercise regularly) and competing impulses, habits, or desires (e.g., to stay on the couch and continue watching TV). To resolve such conflicts in favor of their goals, individuals may capitalize on a variety of self‐regulatory strategies. In this article, we review recent research on the self‐regulatory strategies people use in their daily lives, research on the effectiveness of these strategies, and research on the consequences of self‐regulatory strategy use on well‐being. We furthermore take both an individual‐differences and a situational perspective by linking strategy use to individual differences between people (e.g., in self‐control) and by emphasizing that strategy effectiveness likely depends on situational context (e.g., on current demands). Finally, we introduce ideas and potential future research questions revolving around the role of individual differences in regulatory flexibility (including context‐sensitivity) for determining a person's self‐regulatory success.