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Losing Control: How and Why People Fail at Self-Regulation Hardcover – November 21, 1994

ISBN-13: 978-0120831401 ISBN-10: 0120831406 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 307 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (November 21, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0120831406
  • ISBN-13: 978-0120831401
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,141,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

People the world over suffer from the inability to control their finances, their weight, their emotions, their cravings for drugs, their sexual impulses, and more. The United States in particular is regarded by some observers as a society addicted to addition. Therapy and support groups have proliferated not only for alcoholics and drug abusers but for all kinds of impulse control, from gambling to eating chocolate. Common to all of these disorders is a failure of self-regulation, otherwise known as "self-control."
The consequences of these self-control problems go beyond individuals to affect family members and society at large. In Losing Control, the authors provide a single reference source with comprehensive information on general patterns of self-regulation failure across contexts, research findings on specific self-control disorders, and commentary on the clinical and social aspects of self-regulation failure. Self-control is discussed in relation to what the "self" is, and the cognitive, motivational, and emotional factors that impinge on one's ability to control one's "self."

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 15, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm a reasonably successful professional, wife, and mother who has never had any problems with most of the things discussed in depth in this book (drug addiction, alcoholism, smoking, weight problems, obsessions, gambling, etc).
The reason I bought the book was for the discussions of self-management. They've been very thought provoking for me. I have trouble with setting goals and achieving them, prioritizing, and "self-handicapping", especially procrastination. Now I can think more clearly about how I get in my own way, and I can develop better, more effective strategies for coping.
The "implications for parenting" in the final chapter are also amazingly useful. Though pretty straightforward, they elegantly tie together so many common sense ideas about what good parenting is all about. Having standards. Monitoring. Enabling the child to develop self-control. Instilling the capacity to delay gratification. Challenging the child's ability to control his or her attention may not be as "common sense" as the others, but in context, I can see it's importance.
Many thanks to the authors for a thought-provoking and well-written analysis.
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Format: Hardcover
This book reveals at the outset a central concept I for one have never really given serious thought to. It is the concept of self- control on how we 'override' all the time impulses, feelings, wishes,demands, habits. In other words it points to a picture of consciousness in which there is continual struggle and decision.
Of course the main focus of the book is in describing and dealing with situations in which control has been lost, in which the self- regulation mechanism has failed. The authors contend that American society is today seeing a vast acceleration in the growth of 'loss of control' disorders.The various drug addictions, the obsessive behaviors in gambling, sexuality, other areas of life mark out this loss of our own ability to manage ourselves. Even in the area of overriding our own thoughts there is breakdown and loss of control.
Reading and studying this work is then ideally a way of better knowing, and improving ourselves.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 6, 1999
Format: Hardcover
As a psychology student (senior level undergraduate) who has gone through some major issues with self-regulation, this book provides incredible insight to why people fail at self-regulatory behaviors through an in depth critical review of literature. Amazingly written by credible researchers Baumister and Tice. Should continue to be in print, and should be offered as a text book for classes.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As the mother of a child suffering from an eating disorder and with a spouse suffering from alcohol self-regulation issues, I found this book to contain a vast wealth of helpful information. Even though it was written in 1994, I found 15 years later that the book provides excellent material that I had not really seen published elsewhere on these topics. I keep going back to it time and time again in my search for answers to help my family members.

On page 9 of the book, it mentions three items that are important ingredients for self-regulation including: 1) standards (for example, the thermostat cannot operate without being set on a particular target temperature); 2) monitoring the current circumstances (people can only regulate themselves successfully if they pay attention to what they are doing); and 3) people must have some means of operating on themselves in order to bring about the desired changes or responses.

I wanted to write this review in the hope that this book can perhaps help others. Chapters address: Self-management: Taking care of yourself; Thoughts out of control; Failure to control emotions and moods; Controlling impulses and appetites such as alcohol, smoking, eating too much; Gambling, Shopping, Aggression and a section also on the Implications for Parenting.
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