B.F. Skinner & Self-Control?
B. F. Skinner is generally cited as the first individual to describe self-management - the means by which an individual systematically alters her/his own behavior via operant methods. He called this "self-control."
When a man controls himself, chooses a course of action, thinks out the solution to a problem, or strives toward an increase in self-knowledge, this is behaving. He controls himself precisely as he would control the behavior of anyone else—through the manipulation of variables of which behavior is a function.
- (p. 228) Science and Human Behavior, 1953
Why Is Self-Control Important?
Good self-control has been linked to reduced aggression and criminality, better psychological adjustment, mental health, academic performance, and personal relationships, fewer financial and impulse control problems such as eating disorders and alcohol, nicotine, or other substance abuse.
- Malte Friese & Wilhelm Hofmann, 2009
In fact, research shows that children’s self-regulation behaviors in the early years predict their school achievement in reading and mathematics better than their IQ scores.
- Elena Bodrova & Deborah J. Leong, 2008