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Department of Psychology Psychology of Motivation, Volition, and Emotion

Sebastian Bürgler

Sebastian Bürgler, Dr.phil.

  • Postdoc

Research Focuses


Self-control describes the intentional and often effortful inhibition of impulses to act (e.g., to not eat a delicious piece of cake) as well as the ability to initiate and persist in aversive activities (e.g., to go for a run and not give up after just a few minutes, even though one would rather lay on the couch) in order to reach personal goals. Various strategies can be used for self-control, for example, one can think about the negative consequences of eating the piece of cake, or one can proactively pack an apple as a snack, to not get tempted as much to eat something unhealthy. Here, a focus of my research is on metacognition in self-control, i.e., the knowledge people possess about their self-control and self-regulatory strategies (metacognitive knowledge), as well as the planning, monitoring, and evaluation of their self-control (metacognitive regulation).


A behavior can become habitual and automatically triggered through context cues, because the behavior has been enacted numerous times in the same manner and context (e.g., automatically putting the same groceries in the shopping cart). Such habitual behaviors can have a huge impact on our daily lives and our health, for example, regarding one’s nutrition and physical activity. One focus of my research on habits is to investigate which factors (e.g., personality variables) influence the process of habit formation, for example, how quickly the strength of a new habit increases and how stable this habit strength remains over time.


Bürgler, S., & Hennecke, M. (2023). Metacognition and polyregulation in daily self-control conflicts. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.

Bürgler, S., Hoyle, R. H., & Hennecke, M. (2021). Flexibility in using self-regulatory strategies to manage self-control conflicts: The role of metacognitive knowledge, strategy repertoire, and feedback monitoring. European Journal of Personality35(6), 861–880.

Bürgler, S., Kleinke, K., & Hennecke, M. (2022). The Metacognition in Self-Control Scale (MISCS). Personality and Individual Differences 199.

Bürgler, S., Troll, E. S., & Hennecke, M. (2024). The context-sensitive use of task enrichment to promote self-control: The role of metacognition and trait self-control. Motivation Science.

Hennecke, M., & Bürgler, S. (2020). Many roads lead to Rome: Self‐regulatory strategies and their effects on self‐control. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 14(6), e12530.

Hennecke, M.*, & Bürgler, S.* (2022). Metacognition and self-control: An integrative framework. Psychological Review.
(*shared first-authorship)

Wenzel, M., Bürgler, S., Brandstätter, V., Kreibich, A., & Hennecke, M. (2023). Self-regulatory strategy use, efficacy, and strategy-situation-fit in self-control conflicts of initiation, persistence, and inhibition. European Journal of Personality.

Wenzel, M., Bürgler, S., Rowland, Z., & Hennecke, M. (2023). Self-control dynamics in daily life: The importance of variability between self-regulatory strategies and strategy differentiation. European Journal of Personality, 37(1), 33-56

Wenzel, M., Rowland, Z., Bürgler, S., Friese, M., Hofmann, W., & Hennecke, M. (2022). Person × domain interactions in resisting desires in daily life. European Journal of Personality