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Self-Control Training Decreased Intensity of Penalty Toward Previous Offender

Wenyuan Wang1,#, Shuili Luo1,#, Everett L. Worthington Jr2, Haijiang Li1,3,*

1 Department of Psychology, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, 200234, China
2 Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, 23284, USA
3 The Research Base of Online Education for Shanghai Middle and Primary Schools, Shanghai, 200234, China

* Corresponding Author: Haijiang Li. Email: email

International Journal of Mental Health Promotion 2023, 25(4), 539-550.


Previous studies have found that self-control training was effective in improving an individual’s self-control, which plays an important role in inhibiting negative emotions. However, it is unclear whether self-control training can facilitate refraining from retaliation. This study randomly assigned participants (N = 55) to a training condition (building self-control by avoiding sweets) or a control condition. Before and after training, participants completed the Transgression-Related Interpersonal Motivations Inventory-18 (TRIM-18) and a modified Taylor aggression task once each. Participants in the training condition inflicted more low-intensity penalties on the previous offender compared to control participants. Participants in the training condition reported lower revenge scores after training than before training. These results provide preliminary support that providing people who wish to forgive self-control training might promote forgiveness.


Cite This Article

Wang, W., Luo, S., L., E., Li, H. (2023). Self-Control Training Decreased Intensity of Penalty Toward Previous Offender. International Journal of Mental Health Promotion, 25(4), 539–550.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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