A Model of Self-Regulation: Insights for Impulsive and Compulsive Problems With Eating and Buying
Self-regulation is both a boon and burden for modern humans. # e elongated time perception that enables people to envision the future (Suddendorf & Busby, 2003; Wheeler, Stuss, & Tulving, 1997), and therefore form the basis for self-regulation (Baumeister, 2005), is said to be one of humankind’s most unique capacities (Roberts, 2002). As a boon, self-regulation enables people to direct their actions and modulate their innermost thoughts and feelings, which is necessary for the accomplishment of goals that must occur over time. As a burden, self-regulation is psychologically costly (Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, & Tice, 1998; Vohs & Heatherton, 2000), requires multiple steps for success (Carver & Scheier, 1990), and is vulnerable to subtle cognitive biases (Zhang, Fishbach, & Kruglanski, 2007). Considering all of the spheres that play a role in self-regulation (i.e., attention, performance, emotion, cognition, impulses), it is unsurprising that self-regulatory failures are common. # e causes and consequences of these failures are exceptionally important in understanding and modifying human behavior.