Jeffrey Breakenridge Keller Professor of Behavioral Science and Marketing (The University of Chicago)
I am interested in the processes of self-regulation, specifically in the simultaneous pursuit of multiple goals. In most real-life situations, people hold and intend to pursue several concomitant goals (e.g., to enjoy various culinary delights while also wanting a slim figure, pursuing career objectives while also wanting to spend time with family and friends). Additionally, environmental cues, social opportunities and personal factors can activate these different and potentially inconsistent motivations. My ongoing research is set to explore the regulation of multiple goals in multiple goal systems.
A primary focus of my research is on the processes of self-control. I am interested in how people protect their long-term goals from the influence of short-term motives or temptations. My research assumes that when short-term motives threaten the attainment of long-term goals, people proactively employ self-control strategies designed to offset the influence of short-term motives on their behavior. Self-control is often an intentional process of committing to long-term goals and eliminating tempting alternatives. However, self-control may also be an unconscious process. My research explores some of these deliberative and implicit self-control processes.