The term self-regulation refers to a complex and dynamic set of processes involved in setting and pursuing goals. It is commonly used to refer to a broad set of theories that seek to describe, explain, and predict these goal-directed processes. Although many theories of self-regulation exist, each proposing some unique characteristics, researchers generally agree on several fundamental features of self-regulation.

Goals and Goal Setting

The most fundamental aspect of self-regulation theory is the idea that much of human behavior is directed toward accomplishing goals. Indeed, it is the pursuit of goals that forms the focus of much of self-regulation theory. The term goal takes on a fairly broad meaning in this context, referring to desired future states that individuals wish to attain.

Goals can differ from one another ...

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