Emily Jimenez
Psychology 100
April 10, 2017

Motivation and Self-Control

As an academic Counselor I would first start off by asking the student to take some time to calm down about the situation. I then would tell the student that there is something that can be done about the lack of motivation and self-control, to not feel as if there is no solution to what is occurring.
Let's begin with defining the theory to the student so he/she can have a clear understanding about why he/she has difficulties with staying attentive to doing certain tasks. Self-Control is being able to control one's emotions, desires, or actions by one's own will. As the student mentioned he/she knows they are academically capable of doing the school work although has difficulties with: never knowing exactly what to do to study, can't keep track of how he/she is doing, and forgets to do stuff. It is obvious the student is not meeting the criteria for having self-control that is why I will suggest for he/she to get use to coming to see me to discuss a plan that can perhaps help with what he/she is having trouble with.
For starters, the student is aware that there is something stopping he/she from accomplishing stuff and is willing to receive advice and tips to improve it. Once I meet with the student again I will present the process it takes to help him/her improve self-control and motivation which is: Cybernetic model of control. The author suggests that control has three components for it to be effective: " setting goals, monitoring when behavior conflicts with these goals, and implementing behavior that supports these goals."
I would explain how cybernetics is the study of control ( Wiener, 1948 ) and how it has been used to "model control in people, animals, and machines."( Carver & Scheier, 1981 ). Giving an example to model this before trying it would help the student so I would present the following for he/she to get a small hold of what is coming his/her way. An example mentioned in Figure 1: First, a dieter sets a specific goal for the kinds of food he wants to eat (e.g., "Eat more broccoli, less chips"). Second, he monitors his eating behavior, looking for instances when his behavior deviates from his eating goals (e.g., "I'm eating chips now"). Third, when such discrepancies are detected, he changes his behavior (e.g., "Put down the chips, grab broccoli!").
After explaining to the student the process used to help with control I would suggest for he/she to take in consideration in taking the three steps to begin his/her "cybernetic model". The student seems to have a hard time focusing the most with academic work so an example to help him/her to set as a possible goal would be: Setting an alarm to a time that suits you best to include time for daily activities such as studying, doing homework, etc. This can help the student start with trying to manage his/her time, this is a common problem students face as college students which can cause for one to feel as if they have no control to his/her surroundings causing them to lose themselves or simply not have motivation to take on simple tasks.
To continue, the next step would be constantly checking in with the student to see how he/she is managing with his/her schedule and make sure to keep them consistent with it. The point of setting a schedule for him/her is for the student to try and manage time to include the activities/priorities he/she was not accomplishing. Monitoring the student's schedule with obstacles that can prevent him/her from accomplishing daily activities is also something that must be done in the process of helping controlling behavior. For instance, a temptation that might happen is the student might get invited somewhere with a group of friends although he/she must first consider the schedule he/she has planned out for the day and if that can be included without interfering with either studying, doing homework, etc. The goal-setting theory ( Locke & Latham, 2006 ) is known to lead to better self-control.
The final step suggested in the "cybernetic model" is