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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Psychology and Self-Control
Module Code PSYC512
School 37
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Lorraine Boran
Semester 2: Lorraine Boran
Autumn: Lorraine Boran
Module TeachersLorraine Boran
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None
Coursework Only

The aim of this module is to provide an advanced 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 and wellbeing. Students will also critically consider different explanatory levels and methodological approaches, at the forefront of the psychology of self-control, including neural, psychological and social correlates of healthy and unhealthy self-control.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically consider development trajectories of healthy and unhealthy self-control in terms of hot and cold cognitive processes
2. Critically identify key genotypes, endophenotypes and phenotypic expression of self-control processes.
3. Critically appraise factors influencing the development, and maintenance of self-control
4. Critically evaluate conceptual and methodological approaches used to re-train and/or enhance self-control
5. Critically consider the socio-economic consequences of dysfunctional self-control in terms of health and wellbeing.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture22Asynchronous and synchronous (in person) format; Active listening and engagement with lecture material
Seminars4Synchronous Student-led journal club seminars.
Online activity5Loop Discussion Fora
Independent Study94Independent preparation for seminars; essay; intervention report and oral presentation.
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; including emotion regulation

Self-control and control processes

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 and/or enhancing Self-control

Socio-economics of dysfunctional self-control

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Report(s)Intervention Report70%n/a
AssignmentVideo Presentation30%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.: 1988, 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, UK,
  • Jutta Heckhausen (Editor), Carol S. Dweck (Editor): 2009, Motivation and Self-Regulation across the Life Span, Cambridge University Press, UK,
  • Vohs, K.D., Baumeister, R.F.: 2016, Handbook of self-regulation: Research, theory and applications, 3rd, The Guilford Press, London, UK,
  • 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 Ed, 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 Ed., 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 Ed, Worth Publishers New York,
  • Pinel, J.P.: 2011, Biopsychology, 8th Ed.,, 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 Ed, Norton New York,
  • Styles, E.A.: 2006, The psychology of attention, 2nd Ed, Psychology Press Hove,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
MPCMSc in Psychology (Conversion)

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