Free Research Paper On Self-Regulation

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Goals, Strategy, Psychology, Contrast, Discipline, Innovation, Implementation, Aliens

Pages: 2

Words: 550

Published: 2020/11/09

Self-regulation is a word that is often mentioned in education circles particularly in regards to people of young age such as teenagers and adolescents. These individuals are considered to be at a crucial stage of their life where spontaneity tends to be the most favorable option. From a general perspective, self-regulation is defined as the ability to monitor and control self-behavior, thoughts and emotions and consequently alter them according to the demands of the prevailing conditions or situation. Duckworth et al. (2015) have authored an article where they give several recommendations on self –regulation. The authors of this study discuss some of the recommendable self-regulation strategies that can help to improve self-discipline in adolescents when it comes to the setting of goals and the commitment to achieve these goals.
In this study, Duckworth et al. (2015) conduct a primary research to test the effect of mental contrasting when combined with implementation intentions on successful implementation of goals in adolescents. A total of 66 high school students who were about to take a high stake exam were subjected to a “30 minute written mental contrasting with implementation intentions intervention or a placebo control writing exercises” (Duckworth et al. 2015). Ultimately, the finding was that those students who were exposed to the intervention condition completed more practice questions (60%) that their counterparts placed in the control condition. From this finding, (Duckworth et al. 2015) conclude that there is a great utility in directly teaching adolescent’s mental contrasting in combination with implementation techniques as a potentially effective strategy for successful pursuit of goals.
These aspects are very applicable to my personal teaching and professional growth just like they are applicable to the teenagers. As an individual, I have huge dreams to grow both personally and professionally. Unfortunately, dreaming and achieving are two different things. During the adolescent and the young adult stage, people usually have a lot of goals, myself included. Achieving these goals is partly dependent on the path and strategy used for goal setting. This article has shown that mental contrasting offers the best route to goal setting and committing to achieve these goals. Mental contrasting differs from other strategies such as indulging and dwelling because it “entails conjoint mental elaboration of the desired future and the present reality, thereby making both simultaneously accessible and creating strong associations between them” (Duckworth et al., 2015, p. 18). This strategy first involves elaborating the positive future and then forming the negative reality and framing it as an obstacle to realizing or achieving the positive future. Inadvertently, this emphasizes the necessity for immediate action. This is clearly a strategy that I can use to develop my future goals and commit to achieving them by initiating contributing actions right away. In addition, I plan to accompany these goals with implementation intentions just as suggested by the authors of this article. Professional growth entails making strategic goals and then committing to achieve them and by using the strategies suggested by the authors. I can see myself going very far professionally if I utilize this strategy.
The recommendations by Duckworth et al. (2015) are very compatible with the concepts of risk and resilience. An adolescent may be at the risk of stress when there is a realization that the goals set may not be achievable. However, using mental contrasting and implementation intentions takes care of this aspect. As shown earlier, part of mental contrasting is forming the negative reality and framing it as an obstacle to realizing or achieving the positive future. This is then followed by taking action to eliminate these obstacles. Therefore, using this model, the risk is seen as a negative obstacle that is possible to remove in order to attain a positive future, and this creates a resilience in the individual who in question.


Duckworth, A. L., Grant, H., Loew, B., Oettingen, G., & Gollwitzer, P. M. (2011). Self‐regulation strategies improve self‐discipline in adolescents: Benefits of mental contrasting and implementation intentions. Educational Psychology, 31(1), 17-26.

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Free Research Paper On Self-Regulation. Free Essay Examples - Published Nov 09, 2020. Accessed May 20, 2024.

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