A Self-Controlled Mind Is Reflected by Stable Mental Processing.

Kleinert, Tobias; Nash, Kyle; Leota, Josh; Koenig, Thomas; Heinrichs, Markus; Schiller, Bastian (2022). A Self-Controlled Mind Is Reflected by Stable Mental Processing. Psychological science, 33(12), pp. 2123-2137. Sage Publications 10.1177/09567976221110136

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Self-control-the ability to inhibit inappropriate impulses-predicts economic, physical, and psychological well-being. However, recent findings demonstrate low correlations among self-control measures, raising the question of what self-control actually is. Here, we examined the idea that people high in self-control show more stable mental processing, characterized by processing steps that are fewer in number but longer lasting because of fewer interruptions by distracting impulses. To test this hypothesis, we relied on resting electroencephalography microstate analysis, a method that provides access to the stream of mental processing by assessing the sequential activation of neural networks. Across two samples (Study 1: N = 58 male adults from Germany; Study 2: N = 101 adults from Canada, 58 females), the temporal stability of resting networks (i.e., longer durations and fewer occurrences) was positively associated with self-reported self-control and a neural index of inhibitory control, and it was negatively associated with risk-taking behavior. These findings suggest that stable mental processing represents a core feature of a self-controlled mind.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy > Translational Research Center

UniBE Contributor:

König, Thomas


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Sage Publications




Pubmed Import

Date Deposited:

25 Oct 2022 12:26

Last Modified:

10 Dec 2022 00:14

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Uncontrolled Keywords:

electroencephalography microstates neural networks open data open materials preregistered response inhibition resting state risk taking self-control





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