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Éva Molnár: Interpretations and approaches to self-regulation

The aim of present study is the description of theoretical models and empirical research findings concerning the interpretation and investigation of self-regulation. The interpretations of self-regulation are described in four dimensions: (a) the difference between regulation and self-regulation, (b) the difference between intentional (conscious) and unconscious self-regulation, (c) skill versus process oriented approaches, and (d) self-regulation as correction of behavioural problems versus „naturally” occurring behaviour in the process of adaptation to the environment. The study summarises the most important models and discusses the following theoretical approaches in detail: social constructivist, behaviourist, connectionist, functionalist, socio-cognitive and self oriented. The major research findings concerning self-regulation in these approaches are also outlined. The overview of the numerous theoretical approaches highlights the following shared elements in the concept of self-regulation. It is an ability of the personality that develops within the social environment. It stimulates one to reach personal goals. It is realized in setting and continuously monitoring goals and criteria, as well as in formulating feedback and reflexions. Thus, self-regulation provides the possibility of personal adaptation to the changes in the environment.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 109. Number 4. 343-364. (2009)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Molnár Éva, Szegedi Tudományegyetem Neveléstudományi Intézet H–6722 Szeged, Petőfi Sándor sgt. 30–34.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia