Self-regulating the effortful “social dos”.
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In the current research, we explored differences in the self-regulation of the personal dos (i.e., engaging in active and effortful behaviors that benefit the self) and in the self-regulation of the social dos (engaging in those same effortful behaviors to benefit someone else). In 6 studies, we examined whether the same trait self-control abilities that predict task persistence on personal dos would also predict task persistence on social dos. That is, would the same behavior, such as persisting through a tedious and attentionally demanding task, show different associations with trait self-control when it is framed as benefitting the self versus someone else? In Studies 1–3, we directly compared the personal and social dos and found that trait self-control predicted self-reported and behavioral personal dos but not social dos, even when the behaviors were identical and when the incentives were matched. Instead, trait agreeableness—a trait linked to successful self-regulation within the social domain—predicted the social dos. Trait self-control did not predict the social dos even when task difficulty increased (Study 4), but it did predict the social don’ts, consistent with past research (Studies 5–6). The current studies provide support for the importance of distinguishing different domains of self-regulated behaviors and suggest that social dos can be successfully performed through routes other than traditional self-control abilities.
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Kassandra Cortes, Lara K. Kammrath, Abigail A. Scholer, Johanna Peetz (2014). Self-regulating the effortful “social dos”.. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12992