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Abstract The purpose of the present study (N=80 undergraduate students) was to examine two issues: First, does external control lead to an increase in resistance to temptation more than the use of autonomy support? Second, what are the long-term effects of these types of educational style? Based on the Personality Systems Interaction (PSI) theory, external control was expected to increase resistance to temptation for those participants who lack initiative and self-motivation (i.e., state-oriented participants). Consistent with expectations, resistance to temptation was greater for state-oriented participants with externally controlled instructions than for individuals who received autonomy-supportive instructions. This was reflected by their performance on a visual discrimination task during distracter, compared to baseline, episodes. However, external control had negative long-term effects on state-oriented participants as indexed by alienation from their own preferences in free-choice behavior. Action-oriented participants were less influenced by experimental conditions.