Improvements in self-control from financial monitoring

Megan Oaten*, Ken Cheng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

127 Citations (Scopus)


We tested whether the repeated practice of self-control could improve regulatory strength over time. Regulatory performance was assessed at baseline, then at monthly intervals for a period of four months using a visual tracking task. Perceived stress, emotional distress and self-efficacy were assessed by questionnaire. Participants entered a four-month self-control exercise drill designed to increase regulatory strength: a financial monitoring program. Participants showed significant improvement in self-regulatory capacity as measured by an enhanced performance on the visual tracking task following a thought-suppression task. Perceived stress, emotional distress and self-efficacy remained stable. A control group not participating in any self-control exercise showed no signs of improvement over the same time span.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-501
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Economic Psychology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2007


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