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Doing Despite Disliking: Self‐regulatory Strategies in Everyday Aversive Activitie


Hennecke, Marie; Czikmantori, Thomas; Brandstätter, Veronika (2019). Doing Despite Disliking: Self‐regulatory Strategies in Everyday Aversive Activitie. European Journal of Personality, 33(1):104-128.

Abstract

We investigated the self‐regulatory strategies people spontaneously use in their everyday lives to regulate their persistence during aversive activities. In pilot studies (pooled N = 794), we identified self‐regulatory strategies from self‐reports and generated hypotheses about individual differences in trait self‐control predicting their use. Next, deploying ambulatory assessment (N = 264, 1940 reports of aversive/challenging activities), we investigated predictors of the strategies' self‐reported use and effectiveness (trait self‐control and demand types). The popularity of strategies varied across demands. In addition, people higher in trait self‐control were more likely to focus on the positive consequences of a given activity, set goals, and use emotion regulation. Focusing on positive consequences, focusing on negative consequences (of not performing the activity), thinking of the near finish, and emotion regulation increased perceived self‐regulatory success across demands, whereas distracting oneself from the aversive activity decreased it. None of these strategies, however, accounted for the beneficial effects of trait self‐control on perceived self‐regulatory success. Hence, trait self‐control and strategy use appear to represent separate routes to good self‐regulation. By considering trait‐ and process‐approaches these findings promote a more comprehensive understanding of self‐regulatory success and failure during people's daily attempts to regulate their persistence.

Abstract

We investigated the self‐regulatory strategies people spontaneously use in their everyday lives to regulate their persistence during aversive activities. In pilot studies (pooled N = 794), we identified self‐regulatory strategies from self‐reports and generated hypotheses about individual differences in trait self‐control predicting their use. Next, deploying ambulatory assessment (N = 264, 1940 reports of aversive/challenging activities), we investigated predictors of the strategies' self‐reported use and effectiveness (trait self‐control and demand types). The popularity of strategies varied across demands. In addition, people higher in trait self‐control were more likely to focus on the positive consequences of a given activity, set goals, and use emotion regulation. Focusing on positive consequences, focusing on negative consequences (of not performing the activity), thinking of the near finish, and emotion regulation increased perceived self‐regulatory success across demands, whereas distracting oneself from the aversive activity decreased it. None of these strategies, however, accounted for the beneficial effects of trait self‐control on perceived self‐regulatory success. Hence, trait self‐control and strategy use appear to represent separate routes to good self‐regulation. By considering trait‐ and process‐approaches these findings promote a more comprehensive understanding of self‐regulatory success and failure during people's daily attempts to regulate their persistence.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Social Psychology
Uncontrolled Keywords:Social Psychology DoktoratPsych
Language:English
Date:1 January 2019
Deposited On:16 Jan 2019 15:59
Last Modified:03 Dec 2020 02:25
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0890-2070
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/per.2182

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