Structured and Unstructured Self-regulation: Priming Induction and Effects on Task Performance.

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Description: Self-regulation has been investigated on the past decades in many fields, and despite the fact that contributions have enlightened the understanding of a vast array of behaviors, the development of general explanatory models hardly reaches a consensus. Even relatively consensual theories like ego depletion have been recently questioned, and researchers are still in search of better models to describe the self-regulatory processes. A recent contribution on the field suggests that the presence or absence of goals may lead to different self-regulatory states, named as structured and unstructured regulation. No further attempts on this line of research have been made, even though it has potential to give significant contributions. The main objective of this dissertation is to develop an explanatory model of self-regulation, based on the suggested self-regulatory states, which is hereby named structured and unstructured self-regulation model (SUSR). In order to develop the model, a sequence of experiments was designed and executed to test if the model is feasible and which variables are important to the process as moderators and mediators (experiments 1 and 2). Also, the information processing and the subsequent responses were investigated (experiment 3), and, as an attempt to verify a real-life use of the model, its effects on sports performance will be evaluated (experiment 4). At this point the results suggest that the model is feasible, with self-control already tested as a moderator and with significant differences found in performance on the self-regulatory states. As experiment 2 is still in data collection and with experiments 3 and 4 already designed, it is plausible to assume that the model could be a significant contribution to a better understanding of self-regulation.

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