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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal European Journal of Personality
Volume (Issue) 36(6)
Page(s) 861 - 880
Title of proceedings European Journal of Personality
DOI 10.1177/0890207021992907

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


For regulating emotion, it has been shown that people benefit from being flexible in their use of emotion regulation strategies. In the current study, we built on research focused on regulatory flexibility with respect to emotions to investigate flexibility in the use of self-regulatory strategies to resolve daily self-control conflicts. We investigated three components of flexibility: (1) metacognitive knowledge, (2) strategy repertoire, and (3) feedback monitoring. In a 10-day experience sampling study, 226 participants reported whether they had, within the past hour, experienced a self-control conflict of initiating an aversive activity, persisting in it, or inhibiting an unwanted impulse in response to a temptation. Results support the hypothesis that higher levels of all three components of flexibility are associated with higher levels of success in managing daily self-control conflicts, except for strategy repertoire and feedback monitoring in conflicts of persistence. Results also support the hypothesis that higher levels of trait self-control are associated with higher levels of metacognitive knowledge and feedback monitoring for conflicts of initiation, but not for conflicts of persistence and inhibition. We found no evidence of an association between trait self-control and strategy repertoire. These findings demonstrate the importance of flexible strategy use during daily self-control conflicts.