Embodied Cognition - Psychology - Self-Regulation


As part of a larger study, one experiment randomly assigned college undergraduates to 2 groups. In the "muscle-firming" condition participants grasped a pen in their hand, while in the "control" condition participants held the pen in their fingers. The participants were then asked to fill out donations to Haiti for the Red Cross in sealed envelopes. They were told to return the envelope regardless of whether they donated. They also filled out questionnaires about their feelings about the Red Cross, their tendency to donate, their feelings about Haiti, what they thought the purpose of the study was, etc.

Significantly more participants in the "muscle-firming" condition than in the "control" condition donated money. Condition did not affect the actual amount donated when participants chose to donate. As the researchers predicted, the "muscle-firming" condition helped participants get over their physical aversion to viewing the devastation in Haiti and spend money. Muscle-firming in this experiment may also be related to an increase in self-control, suggesting embodied cognition can play a role in self-regulation.

Some suggest that the embodied mind serves self-regulatory processes by combining movement and cognition to reach a goal. Thus, the embodied mind has a facilitative effect. Some judgments, such as the emotion of a face, are detected more quickly when a participant mimics the facial expression that is being evaluated. Individuals holding a pen in their mouths to freeze their facial muscles and make them unable to mimic the expression were less able to judge emotions. Goal-relevant actions may be encouraged by embodied cognition, as evidenced by the automated approach and avoidance of certain environmental cues. Embodied cognition is also influenced by the situation. If one moves in a way previously associated with danger, the body may require a greater level of information processing than if the body moves in a way associated with a benign situation.

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The term self-regulation can signify:

  • Autoregulation
  • Homeostasis, in systems theory
  • Self-control, in sociology / psychology
  • Self-regulated learning, in educational psychology
  • Self-regulation theory (SRT), a system of conscious personal health management
  • Self-regulatory organization, in business and finance
  • Self-policing, a form of self-regulation
Great Firewall Of China - Enforcement - Self-regulation
... On 16 March 2002, the Internet Society of China, a self-governing Chinese Internet industry body, launched the Public Pledge on Self-Discipline for the Chinese Internet Industry, an agreement between the Chinese Internet industry regulator and companies that operate sites in China ... In signing the agreement, web companies pledge to identify and prevent the transmission of information that Chinese authorities deem objectionable, including information that “breaks laws or spreads superstition or obscenity,” or that “may jeopardize state security and disrupt social stability.” As of 2006, the pledge had been signed by more than 3,000 entities operating websites in China ...