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Article Analysis – You are so Self-Controlling

written sentences and paragraphs.

  1. Provide the main ideas of the article.
  2. What is the article’s purpose? (Examples – give new information, try to convice the
    reader, give a glimpse into someone’s life, etc?)
  3. How does the article explain the field of psychology? Is it a favorable or unfavorable
    view? Are psychologists portrayed as good or bad? important or unimportant?
  4. Analyze the article in terms of the following explain why? and how?
    Does the article have a specific viewpoint? What is it?
    Does it present reasonable information? How does it do so? (example – who is mentioned,
    who is interviewed?)
    Is the information believable? Why or why not?
    Is the information persuasive? Were you persuaded to change opinion after reading?
  5. What information would you have liked the article to additionally include? In other
    words, what might the article have left out?
    Be sure that your paper includes the correct reference format for the article.
    Please include the a link for the article.

Article Analysis – You are so Self-Controlling

Human beings are constantly faced with situations that require decision making based on
their different judgments of the situation as well as the reward they are likely to receive from the
alternatives available. Situations may require individuals to exercise some self control especially
when things do not turn out as normalcy or as they expected. Self control in such a case would be


a reasoned decision to wait or delay gratification and willpower (Konnikova, 2013). It is about
having the ability to forego an immediate reward over a later and possibly better reward. Choices
for the immediate reward are likely to be directed by the tangibility and gratification of owning
what you already have as compared with a later one which is characterized by uncertainty.
However, failure to self-control in certain situations may not be failure as such, but a natural
response to it, in regard to possible consequences of the possible options available. It emerges
that in real life it is difficult to be sure of most outcomes for rewards and how long they might
take as is the case in laboratories. Each day presents us with hundreds of decisions and
judgments to make on the basis of our intuition; fast, automatic, unreasonable thoughts and
feelings, we end up making wrong decisions. Thinking should instead be guided by systematic
reasoning to problem solving in situations that require decision making (Myers, ch8, p206).
Individuals are likely to make haste judgments when faced by an urgent situation based on poor
framing, beliefs, fixation, and mental shortcuts known as heuristics resulting to wrong decisions.
The purpose of the article is to analyze self control as a process of decision making and
reward receiving in psychosocial processes. Individuals are basically faced with situations all the
time that require them to make decisions. Decisions are made on the basis of the likely reward on
one side, and the perceived waiting period before getting the reward (Konnikova, 2013). The
field of psychology is portrayed as unrealistic through the description of the laboratory situation
that does not reflect real life. Psychological experiments made in the lab are not realistic and are
not, therefore, important. Myers (n.d. ch1, pp.7-20) argues that laboratory derived principles
generalize the everyday world. Critical thinking undercover hidden values, examines
assumptions, weighs evidence, and tests conclusions. Psychological and cultural influences
direct our values, assumptions, and critical thinking. Psychologists have also discovered that


much of our everyday feeling; thinking, acting, and sensing operate independent of our
The articles view point is that individual’s self-control is a psychological process guided
by immediate and later rewards as presented by the situation. Konnikova (2013) contends that
the decision taken is based on perceptions regarding the immediate outcomes when compared
with a later outcome. One is likely to take an immediate reward even if it is less valuable than a
later one, which is seen as surrounded with uncertainties in terms of time span for getting it and
likelihood of getting it. The article is based on findings from a study of random picked
participants who were engaged in a 10-minute study in which they would make between $5 and
$ 10, depending on how long they would keep on waiting. The findings of the study are not so
persuasive since the study did not address other issues which could have influenced individual’s
self-control decisions. Random based studies require larger populations to ensure credible
conclusions (Myers, n.d. ch.1, p.12). To some extend the study tried to explain the human
behavior but lacked credibility due to the passive method used.
The article did not address other factors that could have influenced certain human
behavior in their response to situations in life. There could be several other underlying factors
that could bring about self-control or failure for self-control such as personality, time
availability, and economic barriers. Perceptual and contextual settings like culture help to form
social perception (Myers, n.d. ch.5, p.128). Self control as human behavior is a product of
several internal and external processes that shape up human behavior. This implies that a
decision to exercise self-control is specific to both the individual and the situation presented.



Konnikova, M. (2013). You’re so self-controlling. (Sunday Review Desk)(OPINION). The New
York Times. p. 1.

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