An evolving view of the structure of self-regulation

Charles S Carver, Sheri L. Johnson, Jutta Oormann, Michael F. Scheier

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

16 Scopus citations


Two of this chapter’s authors (Charles Carver and Michael Scheier) have used the term self-regulation for well over three decades, after having adopted a viewpoint on behavior that depends heavily on the principles of feedback control. The broad outlines of that viewpoint remain much the same today. However, the state of knowledge in neuroscience and genetics, as well as in behavioral science itself, has changed dramatically since those days. Accordingly, the picture of self-regulatory phenomena that informs these authors’ thinking has also evolved and elaborated. The chapter’s other two authors (SJ and JJ) are clinical scientists, whose professional training occurred a good many years later. The idea that normal and problem behaviors represent different locations on a multidimensional matrix of basic functions—self-regulation that is functional versus self-regulation that has gone awry for some reason—was a natural part of their training background, and has informed their thinking throughout their professional careers about the nature of certain kinds of disorder. This chapter presents the outlines of this general view of self-regulation, and describes how some of its themes have changed across time. It also touches on recent thinking about the regulatory role of different neurotransmitter systems and different brain areas, as well as recent thinking about how more-primitive and more-recent parts of the nervous system interact and shape behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationHandbook of Biobehavioral Approaches to Self-Regulation
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages15
ISBN (Print)9781493912360, 9781493912353
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Depression
  • Feedback loops
  • Self-regulation
  • Serotonin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'An evolving view of the structure of self-regulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this