Perseverance, "Impulse" and self-control

Lecture slides

What is self-control?

This week we will be discussing concepts including. I've linked references below to guide your reading

  1. Anger and Dominance
    • A model for Anger [7]
    • Dominance has been linked to low A/ high E. In its "respect" form, it is linked to higher C.
    • Anger is linked to low-A, but also to “normal” assertiveness.
  2. Aggression as a competence
    • Furlow, B., Gangestad, S. W. and Armijo-Prewitt, T. (1998). Developmental stability and human violence. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London - Series B: Biological Sciences, 265. 1-6. doi. PMID.
    • Goetz, S. M., Shattuck, K. S., Miller, R. M., Campbell, J. A., Lozoya, E., Weisfeld, G. E. and Carre, J. M. (2013). Social Status Moderates the Relationship Between Facial Structure and Aggression. Psychological Sciencedoi. PMID. link
    • Adrian Raine "The anatomy of violence" interview
  3. Perseverance [1], [2]
    • Grit and self-control are linked to C, and perhaps facets of C
  4. Impulsivity in the NEO [8], [5]
    • Heritability of externalizing [3]
  5. Psychopathy
    • Psychopathy is argued to be low C plus low A.
  • Up-to-date summary of conscientiousness measurement. [6] pdf
  • What do conscientious people do? [4]

I'll spend most of the time talking about some positive traits underlying success with which we've been working.
But you might also look at some traits that lead to "problems with self and others" - impulsivity and psychopathy.

A diverse set of impulsivity measures were mapped onto the NEO revealed four dimensions of impulsive-like behavior in an exploratory factor analyses on 437 college students. [8]

These were each marked best by a different particular facet of the FFM (not domain) as follows:
Impulsivity factor NEO Facet
Urgency N: Impulsiveness
Lack of premeditation C: Deliberation
Lack of perseverance C: Self-discipline
Sensation seeking E: Excitement seeking


Try and find references linking the above constructs to the 5FM.

Try and diagram this A/C circumplex. Look up circumplex if you have have not learned that term.

Think about what is happening as we move from, say, psychopathy to dominance.

Extra credit question

  • How can we best measure Psychopathy in normals?
1. Duckworth, A. L. and Seligman, M. E. (2005). Self-discipline outdoes IQ in predicting academic performance of adolescents. Psychological science : a journal of the American Psychological Society / APS, 16. 939-944. doi. link.
2. Duckworth, A. L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M. D. and Kelly, D. R. (2007). Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92. 1087-1101.
3. Anokhin, A. P., Golosheykin, S., Grant, J. and Heath, A. C. (2009). Heritability of risk-taking in adolescence: a longitudinal twin study. Twin Research and Human Genetics, 12. 366-371. doi. PMID.
4. Jackson, J. J., Wood, D., Bogg, T., Walton, K. E., Harms, P. D. and Roberts, B. W. (2010). What do conscientious people do? Development and validation of the Behavioral Indicators of Conscientiousness (BIC). J Res Pers, 44. 501-511. doi. PMID.
5. Lynam, D. R., Whiteside, S. and Jones, S. (1999). Self-reported psychopathy: A validation study. Journal of Personality Assessment, 73. 110-132. doi].
6. Roberts, B. W., Lejuez, C., Krueger, R. F., Richards, J. M. and Hill, P. L. (2012). What Is Conscientiousness and How Can It Be Assessed? Developmental Psychologydoi. PMID.
7. Sell, A., Tooby, J. and Cosmides, L. (2009). Formidability and the logic of human anger. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 106. 15073-15078. doi. PMID.
8. Whiteside, S. P. and Lynam, D. R. (2001). The Five Factor Model and impulsivity: Using a structural model of personality to understand impulsivity. Personality & Individual Differences, 30. 669-689. doi.
9. Credé, M., Tynan, M. C., & Harms, P. D. (2016). Much Ado About Grit: A Meta-Analytic Synthesis of the Grit Literature. JPSP, pspp0000102, pdf

The course will give you powerful frameworks to understand and human behaviour: We cover the major domains: What functions does personality serve?; Facets: What is buried inside the 5 domains?; Values as the immediate causes of behavior; Well-being: How does being happy differ from living a good life?; How can individual differences help us understanding the world: education, relationships, work, abnormal psychology.


Course Chair: Professor Timothy Bates

Degree home page for this course

You are invited to the Individual Differences journal club, which meets each Friday at 2pm!