Success in the Face of Temptation
Life presents a seemingly unending series of challenges for self-regulation. We hold our tongues when a colleague angers us, we pass up the donut at the office party, we get up early to exercise, and we save for retirement instead of buying the latest technology. Yet, we also often fail to do these things—we lash out, we take another donut for the road, we hit the snooze button one more time, and we tell ourselves we can start saving tomorrow. Our failure to manage these challenges successfully is far from trivial. In fact, the leading causes of death in North America are due to modifiable behaviours involving self-regulation.
Dr. Abigail Scholer, Canada Research Chair in Motivated Social Cognition, is examining the factors that reduce failure and increase success in the face of temptations. Scholer is also looking at the management of change and the pursuit of important long-term goals. She is doing so by using a self-regulation model that can yield new insights about a variety of self-regulation problems.
Scholer's research is examining how hierarchies of self-regulation can be applied to help people better manage challenges and conflicts. She is examining how different ways of thinking about the same conflicts may have major consequences for people’s behaviour and for the development of interventions.
Scholer’s research could transform how self-regulation is studied and how it is applied to real-world problems, and could make it possible for people get the most out of life by helping them avoid self-regulation pitfalls.