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Scientific Secrets for Self-Control

Scientific Secrets for Self-Control

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Priority Code


Scientific Secrets for Self-Control

Course No. 1637
Professor C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky
Share This Course
2.8 out of 5
54 Reviews
50% of reviewers would recommend this series
Course No. 1637
  • Audio or Video?
  • You should buy audio if you would enjoy the convenience of experiencing this course while driving, exercising, etc. While the video does contain visual elements, the professor presents the material in an engaging and clear manner, so the visuals are not necessary to understand the concepts. Additionally, the audio audience may refer to the accompanying course guidebook for names, works, and examples that are cited throughout the course.
  • You should buy video if you prefer learning visually and wish to take advantage of the visual elements featured in this course. The video version contains more than 150 images and a wealth of on-screen text designed to aid your learning experience. The video format features detailed diagrams that explain the neuroscience underlying self-control and virtual studio sequences that help to clarify the complex real-life experiments that identified successful approaches to self-control.
Streaming Included Free

Course Overview

We’ve all said it to ourselves at one point or another: “If only I had more willpower, I could do the things I really want to do.” Having the mental fortitude to reach your goals, whether they concern your job, your personal finances, your skills at a hobby, or even your waistline, seems forever unattainable. But here’s the truth: Greater willpower and lasting success actually well within your reach.

It all depends on an understanding of the science behind self-control. Long thought to be nothing but myth, the connection between your mind, your body, and your behaviors and emotions actually has powerful scientific evidence behind it. And once you’ve grasped the fundamentals of self-control and learned how to incorporate them into your personal life, you’ll find yourself in possession of a powerful tool for

  • becoming more goal oriented,
  • thinking more positively and constructively,
  • avoiding the negative health effects of emotional baggage and common stressors,
  • beating back self-doubt, and
  • facing the challenges of today and tomorrow with greater confidence in yourself.

Join Professor C. Nathan DeWall, an award-winning teacher and expert in self-control research, for Scientific Secrets for Self-Control. In just six engaging and inspirational lessons, you’ll get a chance to shatter the myths about willpower and replace them with verifiable science that will help make the seemingly unattainable finally possible. Packed with eye-opening studies, experiments, and exercises to strengthen your self-control when dealing with money, physical fitness, personal relationships, and more, this course will have you wondering why you ever doubted yourself.

Investigate Self-Control alongside an Expert

Whether you’re looking for new ways to resist temptation, make a strong first impression, or better control your emotions, Scientific Secrets for Self-Control is your guide to understanding—and mastering—this mysterious, frequently misunderstood subject. In clear and accessible language, Professor DeWall introduces you to the general theories behind self-control: what it is, how it works, and how you can take steps to improve it.

The individual lectures in this course cover a fascinating range of issues related to self-control. Among the topics you’ll have a chance to explore and investigate in the company of an expert:

  • How researchers discovered that delayed gratification can lead to better individual well-being in everything from higher self-worth to less sensitivity to rejection
  • One of the most influential theories about how self-control works—the limited resource model, which argues that self-control relies on limited energy that becomes depleted after use
  • How scientists discovered the link between the prefrontal cortex and aggression, and how people a risk for violent anger show abnormalities in that region of the brain
  • The argument that humans continue to stereotype other people into general groups (boys/girls, old/young, white/non-white, skinny/overweight) as a mental conservation strategy

Strengthen Your Self-Control Skills

Alongside groundbreaking scientific findings and research, you’ll get personal exercises, activities, and thought experiments you can use to practice strengthening your self-control skills to meet whatever specific goals you want to achieve. Each one of Professor DeWall’s lectures concludes with one or two exercises specific to a particular topic (such as aggression, first impressions, delayed gratification).

  • To psychologically recharge your depleted self-control energy, write down your core values and why they matter; self-affirmation is a great way to boost your self-control.
  • Make a plan before entering a tempting environment. For example, before going to a restaurant, look at the menu online so you can plan a strategy to avoid foods you shouldn’t eat.
  • Don’t make any major relationship decisions after you’ve experienced a long, taxing day. Having adequate self-control energy is crucial to making clear, rational decisions you won’t later regret.

These and other exercises are more than just engaging ways for you to practice self-control. They’re highly insightful examples of just how central self-control is to almost everything that you do in your life.

Finally Overcome Challenges and Obstacles

Professor DeWall is at the top of his game in Scientific Secrets for Self-Control, and you’ll quickly see why this popular instructor has earned such acclaim for his teaching and his ideas. The Association for Psychological Science has called Professor DeWall a “rising star” in psychological research, and he has received honors and awards including the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Kentucky’s College of Arts and Science and a SAGE Young Scholars Award from the Foundation for Personality and Social Psychology.

Add that caliber of instruction to this course’s helpful 3-D animations and use of green screen technology, and these lessons are a dynamic experience, particularly when enjoyed in visual formats.

By turns inspiring, supportive, informative, and enlightening, Professor DeWall has crafted a wonderful course that serves as an invaluable source of support for finally overcoming the obstacles in your life and reaching your true potential.

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6 lectures
 |  30 minutes each
  • 1
    Why Is It So Hard to Do What We Should?
    Critical to understanding self-control: understanding why we often fail at it. First, Professor DeWall explains one of the most influential models about how self-control works, and the two classic experiments that tested this model. Then, learn why depleted energy causes us to show poor self-control and how our individual characteristics shape this energy. x
  • 2
    Self-Control Successes and Failures
    What are the secrets behind mastering self-control in your life? Why are specific individuals, from politicians to civil rights leaders, widely considered heroes of self-control? Why does it help to think of self-control as working like an internal thermostat? You’ll find answers to these provocative questions and more here. x
  • 3
    Marshmallows, Monkeys, and Mortality
    In this lecture, go inside the famous “marshmallow experiment” at Stanford University and its revelations about delayed gratification; learn how delaying gratification is important even for primates and dogs; and probe general differences in self-control and its effects on everything from mental health to wealth accumulation to an early death. x
  • 4
    Taming the Impulsive Beast
    Many critics and pundits argue that we live in the most peaceful time in history. So why is aggression still so prevalent around the world? Encounter several core components of self-control, two of which explain why most people commonly refrain from aggressive behavior and one of which explains why aggression still exists. x
  • 5
    First Impressions and Stereotypes
    Why do we tend to mimic one another during our social interactions? Why do we feel that we “gel” with certain people and seek out stronger relationships with those individuals? Why do interactions with different people deplete us of our self-control energy? Join Professor DeWall for an illuminating investigation of these and other questions. x
  • 6
    Romance, Finance, and Your Environment
    Learn how to apply your newfound knowledge of self-control to your romantic relationships, your financial decisions, and your surroundings. As you cover topics including recent studies on happiness and self-control in relationships and the importance of playing offense against your environment, you’ll gain invaluable skills that will promote stronger self-awareness. x

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Your professor

C. Nathan DeWall

About Your Professor

C. Nathan DeWall, Ph.D.
University of Kentucky
Dr. C. Nathan DeWall is Professor of Psychology at the University of Kentucky. He earned an M.A. in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Social Psychology from Florida State University. Winner of the Outstanding Teacher Award from the University of Kentucky's College of Arts and Science, Professor DeWall was named a ìrising starî in psychological research by the Association for...
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Scientific Secrets for Self-Control is rated 2.7 out of 5 by 54.
Rated 1 out of 5 by from First and LAST Great Course Why is there a man standing at the fridge? I thought this course would help with eating impulses. Instead, in the section titled "Taming the Impulse Beast," I was treated to babble about people who cannot control their aggressive behavior. I learned nothing. What a WASTE of money. This was my first course, it will be my last, and I will warn others who may be thinking of ordering. He talked soooo slow, it was meant to fill up the time, and I found it very annoying. Count me out!
Date published: 2017-08-12
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointed I was disappointed with this course. Let me summarize the message so you don't have to watch the lessons. We all have a limited amount of Self-Control, so use it wisely. We can increase our Self-Control by exerting more Self-Control (although that's never shown in any scientific studies). Last, when you are "depleted of Self-Control energy", it's more difficult to exert Self-Control. That's it! The exercises are simplistic and presented without evidence that they are effective (use your non-dominant hand for a week and this will increase your Self-Control). Really? Furthermore, the speaker has a style of slow - speech - that - I - find - annoying. Please talk faster and get through all this in three lectures.
Date published: 2017-08-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Enli!ghtening Very enlightening program. Neuroscience combined with psychology, presented in a concise manner with visuals makes this program very useful. Am planning to watch it again with my notepad handy.
Date published: 2017-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Self control is so important! Excellent speaker! Why self-control is so important and how to improve it.
Date published: 2017-07-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I found the first three chapters dry, but the next three chapters made up for it.
Date published: 2017-03-02
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Most important part... Self-control starts from the family; how he or she rose, the moment child is born… This is most important part in the life of the person how he or she will perform in the future. What is a roll of environment?
Date published: 2017-02-23
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Scientific Secrets for Self-Control I myself was a bit disappointed with the content of this course. Maybe I should have read the course description more carefully. I would not discount this course for others though. I have completed other Great Courses and was very satisfied. I also see that I can exchange this course for another one. for the most part Great Courses is a high quality product with good customer service. I will definitely continue to educate myself through them
Date published: 2017-02-22
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Not My Favorite From the couple of short personal improvement courses I have purchased, they don't seem to offer as much as the history, music and math courses I have. What they are promoting as new ways of dealing with issues are methods that have been around for years. There is no new information and therefore, no new inspiration. The professor, C. Nathan DeWall, is young and not yet a speaker. He talks about his writing, but he sounds as though he has just finished a speaking course and not practiced enough to be comfortable. He needs to loosen up a lot. Robert Greenberg is the opposite. He is very relaxed, sometimes too much so, but his lectures have new information and his cadence keeps your attention.
Date published: 2016-12-01
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