Self-Control and Self-Regulation in Social Contexts
Self-regulation processes operate on an intrapersonal level during goal-striving. They comprise cognition and behavior individuals perform intentionally and consciously (self-control) as well as automatic, highly efficient, and nonintentional mechanisms (self-regulation). Over the years, a sophisticated scientific tool box full of theories and models facilitating our understanding of the motivational dynamics in humans has been developed that has recently also advanced our understanding of social phenomena by linking the intrapersonal motivational processes to characteristics of the social context and its influences on behavior. Considering both, the intrapersonal processes and the social context of motivation, facilitates both - (a) the understanding of the sources and the influence of motivation as well as (b) the understanding of social phenomena. This compendium presents exemplary studies of what this mutually beneficial relation can look like. It provides new insights on how information concerning the social context affects motivation and behavior, how self-regulatory mechanisms can explain variance in applied settings, how self-regulation functions in the context of stereotype control, particularly when stereotypes are activated by the context, how implementation intentions (i.e., if-then plans individuals consciously commit themselves to) are suitable to prevent the impact of stereotypes on performance, and how automatic self-regulation functions and adapts in the search for a romantic partner. Also included is a discussion of automatic self-regulation, a core issue of self-regulation research, that provides new food for thought about and suggestions for further research on self-regulation and self-control in social contexts.