Different aspects of self-regulation, purposeful for this project, have been investigated. The diversity of the sources includes specialist books and studies of personality and socio-psychological fundamental research, psychotherapeutic guiding concepts, neurobiological foundations of development and change, and other areas of research. Please find reference details here.
This research resulted in eight theoretical constructs for the objectives of VOCIS that describe different aspects of self-regulation. These self-regulating functions include emotional, motivational, cognitive and volitional aspects and are relevant for the understanding of self-regulation and individual development processes. These dimensions are briefly outlined below.
- Self-perception: relating to how well a person succeeds in sensing and recognizing his or her own needs, preferences and intentions, and to test them against external expectations. This includes access to one’s own somatic markers and self-observation.
- Goal orientation: this dimension describes how effective, clear, realistic, timely, measurable and operationalised the goals are that a person pursues.
- Willpower involves how effectively a person converts the goals, intentions and plans that he or she has set to result-oriented and concrete action. In addition, this dimension pictures how a person can concentrate on a task, imagining success and achievement, and appropriately dividing his or her time between speed and correctness.
- Affect regulation describes how a person succeeds in promoting and maintaining adaptive affects and emotions for the aims pursued, and to be able to flexibly switch between negative and positive affects. It also includes how a person can cope with contradictory requirements, frustrations and internal conflicts in the pursuit of goals, and control impulses that are not goal-relevant. What is also conveyed is how a person can cope with failure, learn from mistakes and motivate him- or herself, even if he or she has no desire to do so anymore.
- Self-reinforcement is a dimension that describes how a person succeeds in encouraging himself, in reminding himself of tasks, in creating positive inner dialogues, strengthening him- or herself and ending disturbing thoughts.
- Self-integration refers to how congruent the goals and actions of individuals are with their own essential needs, values and long-term life plans and goals. It is about how authentically, internally free and autonomous a person feels about what he or she is doing.
- Self-development is a dimension of self-regulation, reveals how important a person values self-research, his or her own development, change and self-knowledge. As such, it is a matter of how open, curious and reflective individuals are for their own thinking, experience and behaviour, and to what extent they can take a bird’s perspective on themselves.
- Self-compassion means how acceptable, understanding and non-judgmental a person is against his own shortcomings and mistakes. Furthermore, this dimension describes how a person can manage wise self-care, deal with malaise, and live an attitude of mindfulness.