Featured Research and Programming

Featured Research

Beyond Willpower: Strategies for Reducing Failures of Self-Control

Psychological Science in the Public Interest | February 2019

Angela Duckworth, Katherine Milkman, and David Laibson

Almost everyone struggles to act in their individual and collective best interests, particularly when doing so requires forgoing a more immediately enjoyable alternative. Other than exhorting decision makers to “do the right thing,” what can policymakers do to reduce overeating, undersaving, procrastination, and other self-defeating behaviors that feel good now but generate larger delayed costs? In this review, we synthesize contemporary research on approaches to reducing failures of self-control. We distinguish between self-deployed and other-deployed strategies and, in addition, between situational and cognitive intervention targets. Collectively, the evidence from both psychological science and economics recommends psychologically informed policies for reducing failures of self-control.

Featured Program

StepUp: A Habit Building, Science-Based Workout Program

We designed StepUp to identify what works best for creating lasting exercise habits. The program was launched in partnership with 24 Hour Fitness. Check back for updates on the insights we learn from this program.