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PSYC FPX 3520 Assessment 2 Self Regulation


Capella University

PSYC FPX 3520 Introduction to Social Psychology

Prof. Name


Self-Regulation Case Study

Case Study 3: Dr. Frank – Practicing Psychology

This case study examines the challenges faced by Dr. Frank, a therapist whose personal issues impact his professional and ethical decision-making. Running a private practice, Dr. Frank encounters difficulties attracting clients with health insurance, resulting in financial stress. A pivotal moment arises when a potential client exhibits symptoms indicative of Depression, a condition covered by insurance. However, the client is diagnosed with Dependent Personality Disorder, which typically isn’t covered. Driven by financial necessity, Dr. Frank persuades the client to accept a Major Depression diagnosis, thereby crossing ethical boundaries for personal gain. This situation highlights Dr. Frank’s unethical behavior, stemming from compromised self-regulation.

The Concept of Self-Regulation

Self-regulation is crucial for achieving personal goals through the control of thoughts, actions, and emotions, as emphasized in social psychology literature (Baumeister & Bushman, 2020). It involves conscious control over impulses, fostering personal development, critical thinking skills, and positively influencing moral values.

Research Support

Research in the Journal of Media Psychology discusses motivations behind self-regulation in social media usage (Ozimek & Förster, 2021). It shows how individuals seek validation and affirmation online, rooted in personal expectations. Additionally, the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology explores how the importance of certain goals motivates self-regulation, impacting successful goal achievement (Critcher & Ferguson, 2016).

PSYC FPX 3520 Assessment 2 Self Regulation

Research Interpretation

These studies highlight the varied motivations driving self-regulation, shaped by societal expectations and personal aspirations. They reveal the complex interplay between internal and external factors influencing self-regulatory behaviors.

Application of Self-Regulation

Dr. Frank’s actions illustrate self-regulation affected by external pressures, empathy, and personal gain. His unethical behavior, driven by financial desperation and empathy for the client, reflects a compromised self-regulatory process.

Ethical Reasoning Application

Dr. Frank’s ethical breach demonstrates Incrementalism, where individuals gradually slip into unethical behavior due to various pressures (Baumeister & Bushman, 2020). Financial strain and professional pressures lead Dr. Frank to compromise his moral integrity.

Critical Thinking Application

Dr. Frank’s decision-making showcases Egocentric Thinking, where personal interests overshadow ethical considerations (Baumeister & Bushman, 2020). His actions, aimed at financial benefit, neglect the patient’s well-being and ethical principles.


Baumeister, R. F., & Bushman, B. J. (2020). Social Psychology and Human Nature (5th ed.). Cengage Limited.

Critcher, C. R., & Ferguson, M. J. (2016). ‘Whether I like it or not, it’s important’: Implicit importance of means predicts self-regulatory persistence and success. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 110(6), 818–839.

PSYC FPX 3520 Assessment 2 Self Regulation

Ozimek, P., & Förster, J. (2021). The social online-self-regulation-theory: A review of self-regulation in social media. Journal of Media Psychology: Theories, Methods, and Applications, 33(4), 181–190.

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