Self regulation Lab


The Self-Regulation lab studies how people set and achieve their goals both via controlled and automatic processes. Work in our lab has focused on two core topics:


  1. Self-control is defined as the active inhibition of unwanted responses (e.g., resisting temptations). Research shows that self-control relies on a limited energy source: A single act of self-control can use up these resources and as a result, later acts of self-control are impaired. Self-control depletion has been linked to a number of problems in society, including aggression, prejudice, poor emotion regulation and failure at diets. Work in our lab has examined the factors that lead to self-control impairment and ways to overcome such impairments.

  2. Recently, our lab has extended its investigation of self-control to the area of attitude change - exploring the regulatory process involved in resistance to persuasion. Our most recent work on this topic has showed that resisting a persuasive appeal consumes self-control resources and that exerting self-control on a previous task leaves one vulnerable to persuasive influences.

Goal Management

  1. A great deal of research has examined the topic of goal pursuits; however, this research has primarily focused on goals in isolation. In reality, people must often juggle multiple goals at once (e.g., career and family goals). Work in our lab is investigating how people manage their multiple goals. For example, we are examining the factors than increase the likelihood that people will stick with their current goal pursuit rather than abandoning it in favor of a different pursuit or a different goal.