Delose, Julie Elizabeth
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Three studies investigated how people view the difficulty of exerting self-control in the future. Study 1 provides strong evidence that people’s predictions of the difficulty of exerting self-control in the future increase as temporal distance increases, and this pattern is greater among people with high self-efficacy optimism, low self-regulatory skill, and a low promotion regulatory focus. In Study 2, people accurately predicted the difficulty of completing math problems one day before they completed the math problems but not three days or one week before. Last, Study 3 suggests that the details known about a future temptation may not play a role in people’s predictions of resisting the temptation in the future nor do the details of the future temptation relate to the accuracy of those predictions.