DCU Home | Our Courses | Loop | Registry | Library | Search DCU

Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Psychology of Self Control
Module Code PSYC410
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Lorraine Boran
Semester 2: Lorraine Boran
Autumn: Lorraine Boran
Module TeachersLorraine Boran
NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The aim of this module is to provide an overview of the main biopsychosocial models of healthy and unhealthy self-control, in terms of sensory, cognitive, behavioural and emotion regulation. Particular emphasis will be placed on the developmental trajectory of self-control and executive function, as well as consideration of the socio-economic consequences of dysfunctional self-control such as health, education, and criminality. Students will also consider different explanatory levels including neural, psychological and social correlates of healthy and unhealthy self-control.

Learning Outcomes

1. Evaluate key biopsychosocial theories of self-control
2. Outline development trajectories of healthy and unhealthy self-control
3. Identify and analyse key genotypes and endophenotypes associated with self-control
4. Critically evaluate factors influencing the development, and maintenance of self-control
5. Evaluate methods used to re-train self-control
6. Consider the socio-economic consequences of dysfunctional self-control

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Lecture based on indicative content; Asynchronous and synchronous format (in person); active listening and engagement with lecture material
Seminars4Synchronous moderator-led seminars (in person)
Online activity5Loop Discussion Fora
Independent Study94Independent Study preparation for seminars and assessment.
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Definitions and biopsychosocial theories of self-control

Self-control and executive function

Developmental trajectory of healthy and unhealthy self-control

Genetics of Self-Control

Cognitive and Brain Endophenotypes of Self-control

Dysfunctional Self-control

Self-control and handicapping cognitions and behaviour

Promoting Self-control: Resilience, Optimism and Mindset

Re-training Self-control: Executive Function Training

Socio-economics of dysfunctional self-control

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Report(s)Focused Literature Review and Intervention Report70%n/a
AssignmentVideo Presentation (Tell it Straight)30%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Carver, C.S. & Scheier, M.F.: 1981, Attention and Self-Regulation: A control theory approach to human behavior., Springer Verlag, New York.,
  • De Ridder, L., Adriaanse, K.F.: 2017, Routledge International Handbook of Self Control in Health and Wellbeing., Taylor & Francis,
  • Gross, J.J.: 2013, Handbook of emotion regulation, 2nd, The Guilford Press, London,
  • Jutta Heckhausen (Editor), Carol S. Dweck (Editor): 2009, Motivation and Self-Regulation across the Life Span, Cambridge University Press, 0521101484
  • Vohs, K.D., Baumeister, R.F.: 2016, Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory and applications, 3rd, The Guilford Press, London,
  • Anderson, J.R.: 2005, Cognitive psychology and its implications, Open University Press, Maidenhead,
  • Baddeley, A.D.: 2007, Working memory, thought and action, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Carlson, N.R.: 2010, Physiology of behaviour, 10th, Allyn & Bacon, Boston, MA,
  • Conway, A.R.A., Jarrold, C., Kane, M.J., Miyake, A.& Towse, J.N. (Eds): 2007, Variation in working memory, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Eysenck, M., & Keane, M.: 2015, Cognitive psychology: A student's handbook, 7th, Psychology Press, Hove,
  • Kalat, J.W.: 2009, Biological psychology, Wadsworth Cengage Learning, Belmont, CA,
  • Kolb, B. & Whishaw, I.Q.: 2008, Fundamentals of human neuropsychology, 6th, Worth Publishers, New York,
  • Pinel, J.P.: 2011, Biopsychology, 8th, Pearson Education, Boston, MA,
  • Smith, E., & Kosslyn, S.: 2006, Cognitive psychology: Mind and brain, Pearson, London,
  • Quinlan, P. & Dyson, B.: 2008, Cognitive psychology, Psychology Press, Harlow, UK,
  • Reisberg, D: 2001, Cognition: Exploring the science of the mind, 2nd, Norton, New York,
  • Roche, R., & Commins, S.: 2009, Pioneering studies in cognitive neuroscience, Open University Press, London,
  • Sternberg, R.J.: 2003, Cognitive psychology, 3rd, Harcourt Brace, New York,
  • Styles, E.A.: 2006, The psychology of attention, 2nd, Psychology Press, Hove,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
BPYBSc (Honours) in Psychology

My DCU | Loop | Disclaimer | Privacy Statement