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Although cognitive control is commonly identified as the basis of self-controlled behavior, correlations found between trait self-control and laboratory measures of cognitive control such as Stroop interference are typically low. Based on the notion that self-control requires the ability to refrain from rewarded behaviors, and inspired by the recent finding that Stroop interference is modulated by reward associations, we propose the idea that the modulation of interference by reward associations (MIRA) is a cognitive marker of trait self-control. Two independent samples of participants completed (1) a modified Stroop task designed to assess MIRA and (2) two common measures of trait self-control: the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) and the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11). MIRA was strongly correlated with the BSCS and moderately correlated with two of the three subscales of the BIS-11. MIRA thus appears to reflect a cognitive endophenotype of individual differences in self-control, and perhaps of related mental disorders.
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- Trait self-control is predicted by how reward associations modulate Stroop interference
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg