A Psychometric Study of Cognitive Self-Regulation: Are Self-Report Questionnaires and Behavioural Tasks Measuring a Similar Construct?


Assessing individual differences in cognitive self-regulation, an effortful process that relies heavily on executive functions, has proven difficult in non-psychiatric populations. We report the results of a psychometric and a behavioural study that investigate convergent, discriminant, and predictive validity of three self-report measures of self-regulation (Adult Temperament Questionnaire, Temperament and Character Inventory, and locus of control (LOC) scale) and two behavioural tasks assessing impulse control and cognitive flexibility respectively. Factor analysis in study 1 (n = 492 college students) indicates that effortful control, persistence and self-directedness measure a similar cognitive self-regulatory construct. Harm avoidance and novelty seeking correlate negatively with cognitive self-regulation while intelligence is independent of cognitive self-regulatory capacity. In study 2 (n = 78 college students), we replicate this factor and test for correlations with behavioural tasks. Only internal LOC correlates positively with impulse control behaviour. We conclude that construct validity of self-reported cognitive self-regulation is robust but that predictive validity is lacking.

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Waegeman, A. , Declerck, C. & Boone, C. (2014). A Psychometric Study of Cognitive Self-Regulation: Are Self-Report Questionnaires and Behavioural Tasks Measuring a Similar Construct?. Psychology, 5, 2159-2172. doi: 10.4236/psych.2014.519218.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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