Academic Master


Capacity for Self-Control: Article Review

Purpose of the Article

The purpose of this article was to pinpoint and bring out a theoretical peculiarity between the capability for self-control and the desire of someone to exercise it. Using crime to measure the level of self-control, the writer points out that the desire for one to do crime is in every person but the level of one doing it depends on the level of control he has. Those with high self-control will figure out its disastrous consequences and not do it.

Those with low self-control may be aware of the repercussions but will go ahead to misbehave. Two issues are coming up, self-control ability and self-control desire, which are different but related.  The self-control ability depends on the self-control desire whereby with a strong desire, the ability has less influence and vice versa. Therefore, the conclusion is that self-control ability influences misbehaviour and is not the cause of misbehaviour.

Moreover, the writer makes it clear that self-control is a moderately good predictor of criminal or deviant behaviour. There is a cumulative and interactive relationship between individuals with both self-control ability and self-control desire to have misbehaviour. Thus, it is important that both are factors for predicting crime and deviance. Lastly, the writer points out that Self-learning, rational arguments and social bonding have an impact on people’s desires to apply self-restraint.

Research Questions

  1. Does self-control theory address issues of the urge to commit crimes and deviance?
  2. How is self-control relative to other theoretical variables in predicting crime/deviance?
  3. Is there a relationship between the self-control ability and self-control desire?

Data collection, Methodology and Sampling

The data used was collected during the 16th annual Oklahoma City Survey with those interviewed being of age 18 and above. The author conducted 350 interviews which were face to face. Of these interviewed individuals, 40% of those who completed the interview were those targeted from the household and the remaining were random substitutions. The percentage of men was 44%, with whites making up 80% of those interviewed. The survey also included drinkers, smokers and those who fail to use seat belts with their percentage being 17, 28, and 38 respectively.

The Limitations of this Article

The survey was done in a single locality within a city and cannot be used to justify the same behaviour in other areas. There are other factors which could have been factored in i.e. the level of crime in the area, the economic stability of the region, and the law of a state or country should have been factored in. The fact that only 40% of the individuals who were supposed to be interviewed were successful, the rest whose input wasn’t successful in the research could have a negative impact on the results.

Lastly, interviewed individuals could be intimidated by face-to-face interviews as most questions were directly related to breaking the law. This may make some not take the interview while others may lie about some questions because of embarrassment. I could recommend the research to target those who are ex-convicts and also the prison convicts to understand the self-control desires and ability in the crime that they did.

References List

Charles , R. T., David, A. W., & Harold, G. G. (2004). Capacity for Self-Control and Individuals’ Interest. Journal of Quantitative Criminology.



Calculate Your Order

Standard price





Pop-up Message