Control (psychology)

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Control has been one of the most widely explored topics in the social and psychological sciences”[1] In psychology it can refer to one’s perception regarding her/his ability to achieve outcomes (Perceived Control), the ability to select one’s thoughts and actions (cognitive control), the ability to regulate one’s feelings or attitudes toward something (emotional control), one’s ability to act on prescribed behaviors (motivational control), the amount of control one seeks within a relationship (control desire), the ability to inhibit thoughts or actions in favor of others (inhibitory control), selecting one’s social environment for one’s benefit (social control), the attempt to regulate impulses or attentional processes (Ego control), and the ability to regulate how much effort one invests into a goal (effortful control).

Perceived control

Perceived control in psychology is a “person’s belief that he or she is capable of obtaining desired outcomes, avoiding undesired outcomes, and achieving goals.” High perceived control is associated with better health, relationships, and adjustment. Strategies for restoring perceived control are called Compensatory control strategies.[2]

Control desire

Control desire in the context of a sales relationship refers to the amount of control a customer wants within the relationship.[3]

Cognitive control

Cognitive control in psychology describes “the ability to control one’s thoughts and actions.” It is also known as controlled processing, executive attention, and supervisory attention. Controlled behaviors are guided by maintenance, updating, and representing task goals, and inhibiting information irrelevant to the task goal.[4]

Emotional control

Emotional control is a term from the self-regulatory psychology literature and refers to “the ability to self-manage or regulate attitudes and feelings that directly affect participant receptiveness to, and implementation of, training activities.”[5]

Motivational control

Motivational control in psychology “refers to the self-regulatory mechanism by which individuals are able to act on prescribed behaviors to implement training activities.” For example, a student who studies for an hour each morning for two months before a test, whether or not the student likes studying.[6]

Inhibitory control

Inhibitory control or “IC” in psychology is a refers to a type of self-regulation defined as “the ability to inhibit prepotent thoughts or actions flexibly, often in favor of a subdominant action, typically in goal-directed behavior”.[7] There are two types of IC: hot and cold. Hot IC involves activities or tasks related to emotion regulation, and cold IC involves abstract activities or tasks.

Social control

Social control is learning psychology “refers to an individual’s skills in engaging the social environment in ways that help to support and reinforce his or her learning activities.”[8]

Ego control

Ego control in psychology refers to “the efforts of the individual to control ‘thoughts, emotions, impulses or appetites… task performances [and] attentional processes.’ ”[9] Failure of ego control is seen as a central problem in individuals who suffer from substance abuse disorders.

Situational control

Situational control in psychology is part of leadership psychology that refers to “the degree to which the situation provides the leader “with potential influence over the group’s behavior”.[10]

Effortful control

Effortful control in psychology refers to a type of self regulation. It is a broader construct than inhibitory control, and encompasses working memory and attention shifting.[11]

See also

References

  1. ^ Mullins, Bachrach, Rapp, Grewal, and Beitelspacher. (2015).Journal of Applied Psychology.Vol. 100, No. 4, 1076
  2. ^ Landau, Kay and Whitson. (2015). “Compensatory Control and the Appeal of a Structured World”. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 141, No. 3, p. 695
  3. ^ Mullins, Bachrach, Rapp, Grewal, and Beitelspacher. (2015).Journal of Applied Psychology.Vol. 100, No. 4, 1073-1088
  4. ^ Reimer, Radvansky, Lorsbach and Armendarez. (2015). “Event Structure and Cognitive Control”. Journal of Experimental Psychology.Vol. 41, No. 5, 1374-1387
  5. ^ Robbins, Oh, Le and Button. (2009). “Intervention Effects on College Performance and Retention as Mediated by Motivational, Emotional, and Social Control Factors: Integrated Meta-Analytic Path Analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology Vol. 94, No. 5, 1163-1184
  6. ^ Robbins, Oh, Le and Button. (2009). “Intervention Effects on College Performance and Retention as Mediated by Motivational, Emotional, and Social Control Factors: Integrated Meta-Analytic Path Analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology Vol. 94, No. 5, 1163-1184
  7. ^ Allan, Hume, Allan, Farrington and Lonigan. (2014). “Relations Between inhibitory Control and the Development of Academic Skills in Preschool and Kindergarten: A Meta-Analysis”. Developmental Psychology. Vol. 50, No. 10, 2368.
  8. ^ Robbins, Oh, Le and Button. (2009). “Intervention Effects on College Performance and Retention as Mediated by Motivational, Emotional, and Social Control Factors: Integrated Meta-Analytic Path Analysis.” Journal of Applied Psychology Vol. 94, No. 5, 1163-1184
  9. ^ Gottdiener, Murawski and Kucharski. (2008). “Using the Delay Discounting Task to test for failures in ego control in substance abusers.”Psychoanalytic PsychologyVol. 25, 3, 533-549
  10. ^ Fiedler, F.E. (1971). “Validation and extension of the contingency model of leadership effectiveness: A review of empirical findings. Psychological Bulletin, 76, 129
  11. ^ Allan, Hume, Allan, Farrington and Lonigan. (2014). “Relations Between inhibitory Control and the Development of Academic Skills in Preschool and Kindergarten: A Meta-Analysis”. Developmental Psychology. Vol. 50, No. 10, 2368-2379.
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