A comparison of methods for training self-control

Lowell Anderson, Iris Fodor, Murray Alpert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Three methods of training self-control were compared in a group of disruptive adolescent boys: a token fading group, where skills at self-evaluation, prediction of reward consequences, and self-monitoring were necessary to obtain points; a behavioral rehearsal group, where (GSR) machines provided feedback of emotional control during role playing of stressful situations; and a traditional therapy group. The token fading condition was effective in establishing self-control in classroom situations not monitored by any contingency system as well as in the training classroom following termination of token rewards. While showing no such classroom generalization, the behavioral rehearsal students learned to respond more effectively on tests measuring cognitive tasks such as attention span, foresight, resistance to distraction, and persistence. No treatment effect was noted for the traditional therapy condition. The results suggest that self-control is not a unitary concept, and provide a basis for specifying treatment approaches appropriate to specific self-control goals. The appropriateness of some self-control treatment goals is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)649-658
Number of pages10
JournalBehavior Therapy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1976

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology


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