Self-Control as Value-Based Choice

16 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2015 Last revised: 4 Dec 2016

See all articles by Elliot Berkman

Elliot Berkman

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Cendri Hutcherson

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Jordan Livingston

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Lauren Kahn

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology

Michael Inzlicht

University of Toronto

Date Written: November 16, 2016

Abstract

Self-control is often conceived as a battle between “hot” impulsive processes and “cold” deliberative ones. Heeding the angel on one shoulder leads to success; following the demon on the other leads to failure. Self-control feels like a duality. What if that sensation is misleading, and, despite how they feel, self-control decisions are just like any other choice? We argue that self-control is a form of value-based choice wherein options are assigned a subjective value and a decision is made through a dynamic integration process. We articulate how a value-based choice model of self-control can capture its phenomenology and account for relevant behavioral and neuroscientific data. This conceptualization of self-control links divergent scientific approaches, allows for more robust and precise hypothesis testing, and suggests novel pathways to improve self-control.

Keywords: self-control, valuation, subjective value, choice, economics, neuroeconomics, drift diffusion model

Suggested Citation

Berkman, Elliot and Hutcherson, Cendri and Livingston, Jordan and Kahn, Lauren and Inzlicht, Michael, Self-Control as Value-Based Choice (November 16, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2665823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2665823

Elliot Berkman (Contact Author)

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-4909 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://sanlab.uoregon.edu

Cendri Hutcherson

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Jordan Livingston

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Lauren Kahn

University of Oregon - Department of Psychology ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States

Michael Inzlicht

University of Toronto ( email )

Department of Psychology
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.michaelinzlicht.com

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