Standard Article


  1. Deane H. Shapiro1,
  2. Shauna L. Shapiro2,
  3. John A. Astin3,
  4. Johanna Shapiro4

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0833

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Shapiro, D. H., Shapiro, S. L., Astin, J. A. and Shapiro, J. 2010. Self-Control. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

  2. 2

    Santa Clara University

  3. 3

    California Pacific Medical Center

  4. 4

    University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Psychology has had a long and stormy relationship with the term self-control and related concepts of choice, willpower, self-regulation, human agency, and personal autonomy. Although the concept raises difficult questions about the nature of self, free will, and determinism, the importance of self-control cannot be ignored. Research has shown that self-control is relevant to addressing psychological and behavioral health concerns. It also plays a role in religious and spiritual traditions where concepts of self-restraint, internal self-regulation, and management of external behavior (e.g., right speech, right action) are integral.


  • self-control;
  • assertive/change;
  • yielding/acceptance;
  • locus of control;
  • self-regulation