The many faces of self-control: Tacit assumptions and recommendations to deal with them.

The term self-control is broadly used by both researchers and lay people. However, both the term itself and the research on self-control is full of assumptions that are often unexamined and unchallenged. In this paper, we question many assertions and assumptions about self-control that foster confusion and controversy, including the multitude of processes encompassed by the varied uses of the term self-control. We describe how these assumptions have caused gaps in the empirical literature, impeded the development of an interdisciplinary knowledge base about self-control, and ultimately slowed scientific progress in this area. Critically, we also present a set of recommendations for conducting research on self-control that would be relevant across theories, areas of inquiry, and disciplines. By bringing these assumptions to light, future research can better focus on issues that are important and foundational but have been relatively neglected by the literature because of their implicit nature. This paper thus raises new avenues for research by highlighting what the field generally assumes but does not test directly. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)