Science Highlight

The APA Willpower Report

Public education campaign takes on self-control research and its impact on health and well-being.

New APA report: What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control

In 2007 the American Psychological Association launched the Mind/Body Health Campaign to educate the public about the services that psychologists provide and the link between psychological and physical well-being.

Willpower reportEach year since the campaign’s inception, APA has conducted the Stress in America Survey to assess public opinion regarding the sources and impacts of the stress that people experience and the techniques they use to manage stress. In 2011, more than a quarter of survey respondents identified a lack of willpower as the most significant obstacle to reducing stress. To address this finding, last month APA released a report for the general public on What You Need to Know about Willpower: The Psychological Science of Self-Control.

The report marks an expansion of APA’s public education effort to include a focus on the scientific research that is at the foundation of psychological interventions and services.

The report’s contents have received widespread news coverage, including in USA Today and in a series of radio interviews conducted by Steve Breckler, APA Executive Director for Science, that reached a national audience of more than  9 million listeners. Breckler comments further on the report and its role in educating the public about psychological science in his column in Psychological Science Agenda this month.

Related materials: