Not doing bad things is not equivalent to doing the right thing: Distinguishing between inhibitory and initiatory self-control


The present study investigated whether a conceptual distinction between two components of self-control (inhibitory and initiatory self-control) is empirically valid. To that purpose, a series of confirmative factor analyses were employed in two samples (total N = 577), providing support for a distinction between inhibitory and initiatory self-control. In addition, the predictive validity of the two components of self-control was examined by regression analyses with (un)desired health/academic behavior as dependent variables, showing that inhibitory self-control was a superior predictor of undesired behavior and initiatory self-control a better predictor of desired behavior.

Personality and Individual Differences, 50, 1006-1011