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Lecture 6

PSY230H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Confidence Interval, Extraversion And Introversion, Agreeableness


Department
Psychology
Course Code
PSY230H5
Professor
Ulrich Schimmack
Lecture
6

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Self regulations
Good: Impulses versus Willpower
Bad: Repressive Coping
Key Concept: Willpower, Volition, Impulse-Control
Everyday trait words related to will-power:
oStrong-minded, headstrong, deliberate, controlled, powerful, strong, determined,
tenacious, resolute, unwavering, firm, untiring, persistent, relentless, unrelenting,
assertive, forceful, dedicated, fanatic, stubborn
Definition:
- Maintain focus on a conscious goal (intention)
- Shield it from distraction by impulses
- Overcome obstacles in the pursuit of the goal
What is the differences between unconscious and conscious influences of behavior?
Unconscious motives are influences by salient stimuli in the immediate environment
(short-term perspective).
oSalient stimuli a stimulus that, for any of many reasons, stands out from
the rest.
Conscious influences require active retrieval of long-term goals from memory (long-
term perspective).
“Willpower is just another name for the idea of choosing according to long-term
outcomes rather than short-term ones.“ (Damasio, 1994)
Self-Control
Definition
In many situations, unconscious processes compete with conscious processes over the
control of our actions.
Self-control can be defined as situations in which the influence of the conscious
processes on behavior is stronger than the influence of the unconscious processes.
Self-Regulation
All conscious processes require more effort than unconscious processes.
This distinguishes conscious and unconscious processes (controlled vs. automatic
processes).
the act of self-restraint more effortful
Will-power is a desirable trait.

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It helps people to control undesirable impulses and helps them to pursuit long-
term goals (e.g., studying, getting a degree) in the presence of constant
distractions (e.g., parties; movies; TV).
Individual Differences in Will-Power
The Delay of Gratification Paradigm:
Method :
ochildren’s will-power was tested
othere was a choice between two alternatives:
othey could either ring a bell and get one marshmallow right away
othey could wait 20 minutes and get two marshmallows.
otwo manipulations: (a) either the one marshmallow that could be obtained
right away was in plain view or hidden; (b) either children were given special
instructions how to control themselves or they were given no special
instructions.
Results children with strong will- power waited longer than children with weak
will- power.
Children who delayed gratification longer were( rated by parents after 10 years)
- more academically competent
- more socially competent
- more verbally fluent, rational and attentive
- more planful
- better able to deal with frustration and stress
Correlations between Delay Times and SAT Scores 10 Years Later
Delay of gratification predicted verbal (.42) and quantitative (.57) SAT scores,
verifying to the desirability of will power.
correlatio
ns are not very strong. there were any significant correlations given that children’s
will power was assessed in only a single situation with a single measure.
If will power had been assessed with more variables and in more situations, we would
expect an even stronger correlation
Conclusion
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o Will-power shows temporal stability
o Will-power is related to adjustment and academic performance in school.
delay of gratification paradigm for children for adolescents(Wulfert, Block)
Participants. 69 high school students (age 16).
34 problem students (guidance counselors’ evaluations).
35 students were non-problem students.
Procedure.
Choice between $7 now and $10 in one week.
(half took $7 now)
Measures.
- Grades (scale 0-100)
- Self-reported problem behaviors (smoking, drinking, Marijuana).
- Self-report Rosenberg’s self-esteem scale.
Results:
students who choose immediate
reward of 82% problem students and
18% students without problems.
students who chose the delayed reward
only 21% problem students and 79%
students without problems.
Students who delayed the reward had
better grades than students who chose the
immediate reward (79% vs. 64% on a 0-
100% scale).
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