Self-control and cooperation: Different concepts similar decisions? A question of the right perspective

D. De Cremer, S. Dewitte*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Conflicts between an individual's long-term and short-term goals (i.e., self-control conflicts) and conflicts between individual and collective interests (mixed-motive situations) share some interesting features. In this article both types of conflicts are approached from a perspective hypothesis. The hypothesis holds that a decision maker's perspective on his or her decision determines whether either the long-term goals (the collective interests) or the short-term goals (the individual interests) will guide behavior. The hypothesis also implies that factors known to enhance cooperative choices in mixed-motive situations should also facilitate self-control. Three such factors are evaluated: group identification, self-efficacy, and mutual trust. We conclude that the perspective in which choice is considered part of an identifiable series of behaviors is most likely to result in cooperation or self-control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)133-153
JournalJournal of Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2001

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