ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (1): 86-98.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00086

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Reward based model and neural mechanism of self-control

DOU Ze-nan1; FANG Yuan1; ZHOU Wei1,2; QIAO Zhi-hong1   

  1. (1Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, School of Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China) (2 Century College, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 102101, China)
  • Received:2016-04-24 Online:2017-01-15 Published:2017-01-15
  • Contact: QIAO Zhi-hong, E-mail:


The limited resources model (i.e., the Strength Model of Self-control) has been under challenge in recent years. The considerable debate involved the unclear mechanisms of blood glucose, unsatisfying replication results, and the inadequate model lacking psychological factors such as personal willingness and beliefs. Among all other competing models, the reward based model rooted from behavior economics literature offered relatively more plausible explanation in accounting for the results found in behavioral research and the evidence from neuroscience. Based on this model, we suggest that future studies on self-control may further explore the neural mechanisms as well as the nature and nurture factors of trait self-control.

Key words: self-control, ego depletion, limited resources model, reward based model