Organizing Facets of Self-Regulation: Goals, Process Phases, Obstacles and Mechanisms

  • Babett Voigt (Author)

Identifiers (Article)


Across psychology, literature on self-regulation provides a variety of different terms and conceptualizations. These perspectives converge in the general assumption that selfregulation embodies goal-directed behavior. Beyond, theoretical views diverge on multiple dimensions. The complexity of differences makes an integration into one narrow definition of self-regulation difficult. In contrast to many previous approaches, the present work takes a diversity perspective and frames different conceptualization as multiple facets of self-regulation. Differences between self-regulatory facets are thereby described along four key aspects: (a) the role and the nature of goals, (b) the temporal dynamics of goal-directed behavior, (c) the obstacles and target processes that may interfere with goal pursuit and (d) the mechanisms for overcoming obstacles and modulating target processes. I close by discussing the advantages of the diversity approach for conceptual, empirical and methodological questions of past and future research on self-regulation.


Self-regulation; self-control; executive function; cognitive control; emotion regulation