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The Curse of the SelfSelf-Awareness, Egotism, and the Quality of Human Life$
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Mark R. Leary

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172423

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.001.0001

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The Self Out of Control

The Self Out of Control

Chapter:
(p.162) 8 The Self Out of Control
Source:
The Curse of the Self
Author(s):

Mark R. Leary

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195172423.003.0008

Most people believe that they can solve many of the problems discussed in the book through self-control, making themselves behave in ways that are conducive to their health and happiness by force of will. Of course, people sometimes exercise sufficient self-restraint to override the self's natural maladaptive inclinations. Yet, as we all know, there are limits to what people can make themselves do, and people are often unable to control their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors as they desire. Many personal and social problems (such as aggression, addiction, unprotected sex, overeating, and deindividuation) result from self-regulation failure. This chapter deals with the nature of self-regulation and with the question of why people are often unable to control themselves no matter how hard they try. Topics include self-regulation, self-control strength, and ego-depletion. Implications of research for enhancing personal self-control are discussed.

Keywords:   self-control, ego-depletion, self-control strength, self-regulation, self-awareness, deindividuation

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