Conference Proceedings

Self-control, morality, and human strength

RF Baumeister, JJ Exline

JOURNAL OF SOCIAL AND CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY | GUILFORD PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2000

Abstract

Self-control refers to the self's ability to alter its own states and responses, and hence it is both key to adaptive success and central to virtuous behavior, especially insofar as the latter requires conforming to socially desirable standards instead of pursuing selfish goals. Recent evidence suggests that self-control operates like a strength: It is weaker after an exertion, replenishes with rest, and slowly becomes stronger with repeated exercise. It has multiple links to personal well-being and reduced social problems.