University of Twente Student Theses


Understanding students’ experiences of self-control from a qualitative perspective

Völker, A. (2022) Understanding students’ experiences of self-control from a qualitative perspective.

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Abstract:Background: Different fields within psychology have developed approaches towards self-control, characterizing the phenomenon as either a state, trait, or skill, each with their conceptualizations of self-control success and failure. Empirical research has been conducted to substantiate these approaches. However, individuals’ lived experiences of self-control have not been as prominent in the scholarship. Therefore, the aim of this explorative qualitative study is to gain insights into students' understanding of self-control. Methods: Semi-structured interviews were conducted among nine psychology students. Participants were interviewed about their association with the term self-control, their experiences with self-control failure and success as well as about their opinions on statements about self-control. The interviews were analyzed with the method of constant comparison. Results & Discussion: The results showed that students described self-control as a state, trait, and skill. The versatile descriptions of self-control might imply that self-control is a multifaceted construct that cannot be explained by one of the existing theories alone. Conclusion: This study should be replicated in other populations than psychology students. If future studies confirm that multiple theories do justice to people's experience with self-control, this might serve as an argument to shift attention to multimodal approaches and combine theories further.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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