How can we exercise better control over our thoughts and actions? Answering this question requires recognizing that not all self-control is motivational. There is also a vigilance dimension to self-control, which is evidenced by the fact that many failures of it happen inadvertently. Knowing why these failures happen will give us a better understanding of this less explored dimension of self-control. It will also teach us how to become better at exercising it.
In this project we aim to answer two questions: How can people get better at avoiding these inadvertent mistakes? How should we respond when people make them? Answering these questions requires understanding the psychological and ecological factors that make control possible given the imminence of these failures. It also involves thinking about how excusing and mitigating factors for responsibility apply to them.
To do this, we have invited a group of experts from philosophy, the social and cognitive sciences, and the law to study differ aspects of vigilance. The group is constituted by researchers at different stages of their careers, based in North and Latin America academic institutions. Our goal is to create the basis of enduring research partnerships between scholars from across the Americas working on various aspects of self-control.
This is a two-year project starting on April 2017. During the next two years we have a series of planned activities, which include:
An interdisciplinary course on Vigilance for graduate students in Bogotá¡ (2nd semester of 2017).
A speaker series (AY 2017-2018).
A workshop with more than 10 participants from across the Americas (March 2018).
Two bi-annual short-term fellowships for young scholars/scientists.
Two start-up awards of US$1,500 each (more details about these soon).
- Two translation/copy-editing awards for Latin American scholars.
For a general overview of the project, please check here.