Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Psychol Rev. 1999 Jan;106(1):3-19.

A hot/cool-system analysis of delay of gratification: dynamics of willpower.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027, USA. metcalfe@psych.columbia.edu

Abstract

A 2-system framework is proposed for understanding the processes that enable--and undermine--self-control or "willpower" as exemplified in the delay of gratification paradigm. A cool, cognitive "know" system and a hot, emotional "go" system are postulated. The cool system is cognitive, emotionally neutral, contemplative, flexible, integrated, coherent, spatiotemporal, slow, episodic, and strategic. It is the seat of self-regulation and self-control. The hot system is the basis of emotionality, fears as well as passions--impulsive and reflexive--initially controlled by innate releasing stimuli (and, thus, literally under "stimulus control"): it is fundamental for emotional (classical) conditioning and undermines efforts at self-control. The balance between the hot and cool systems is determined by stress, developmental level, and the individual's self-regulatory dynamics. The interactions between these systems allow explanation of findings on willpower from 3 decades of research.

PMID:
10197361
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk