“I find I get my energy from doing the things I love… If you do the things you love, you don’t get tired!”

- Trevor Noah demonstrating a "non-limited" theory of willpower during an interview on the The Late Show

About Me

I am a Psychology PhD candidate at the University of Toronto, working for my final year in the Social Neuroscience Lab with Dr. Michael Inzlicht.

I study self-regulation, mental fatigue, and people's perceptions of self-control. I use a variety of methods to test questions of self-regulation, including psychophysiological (EEG and EMG), self-report (experience-sampling, surveys), and behavioural (in-lab and "real-world"). Much of my research focuses on temporal dynamics of self-regulation: how self-control fluctuates across the course of a task, across the course of the day, or across multiple weeks. 

 

I am particularly interested in the motivational factors that contribute to variability in self-control between people and across time – how do people’s expectations and beliefs affect their self-control outcomes? For example, I've found that people's beliefs about willpower (as limited or non-limited) predict how their health-goal behaviours change across the course of the day, and those same beliefs predict how willing and able people feel to provide social support to others.

Self-regulation research applies to so many areas of life! I have examined self-regulation fluctuations and beliefs in relation to (i) health outcomes like snacking, physical activity, and gym attendance, (ii) interpersonal outcomes like the provision of support, team selection, and person-perception, and (iii) task performance and attention engagement. I'm continuing to explore and model how these domains are dynamically affected by people's motivations and expectations.

© 2020 by Zoe Lynn Francis.