Whether and how self-concept clarity (SCC) affects self-control has not been sufficiently explored in empirical research. We proposed that low SCC inhibits self-control through a lower sense of global self-continuity. The results of five studies provided converging support for our mediation model (N = 898). Compared with participants with high SCC, participants with low SCC scored lower on self-control scales (Studies 1 and 2), spent less time practicing to improve their performance on a tedious task (Study 3), and were less likely to stay focused on an ongoing task (Study 4) or to adhere to the exercise plan to stay healthy (Study 5). Global self-continuity mediated the effects of low SCC on self-control (Studies 1–5) even after emotional affect (Study 5) and self-esteem (Studies 4 and 5) were controlled for. These findings highlight the importance of fostering SCC for coping with self-control failures. Copyright © 2022 by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, Inc.
CitationJiang, T., Wang, T., Poon, K.-T., Gaer, W., & Wang, X. (2022). Low self-concept clarity inhibits self-control: The mediating effect of global self-continuity. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1177/01461672221109664
- Self-concept clarity
- Global self-continuity
- Emotional affect