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Self-control and child decision-making in sociocultural context

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Self-control is usually characterized as a skill in purely individual terms, but recent scientific studies question this idea by clarifying how various contexts, both proximal and distal, can shape and contribute to explain the development of self-control, which, consequently, can be understood as a situated capacity, which is consistent with the theory of ecological rationality. The article argues on the social importance of self-control, points to neural correlates of this ability, and relates it to the idea of expected utility. After that, it refers to the influence of culture, the consideration of context in the candy test and decision making. It concludes by discussing some implications of the topics reviewed for a more ecological perspective of self-control.


self-control, children, decision-making, social context, culture