This project will explore the nature and impact of self-control in everyday life. It will test the relationship between state-level self-control and spirituality, well-being, health, and stress.

Data will be collected using an online experience sampling method (ESM) research design. For two weeks, participants will take two brief surveys a day, at random times. At the end of their participation, they will receive a personalized report summarizing their spiritual experiences and various situational characteristics. The goal is 10,000 study participants over the three-year study.

Multilevel structural equation modeling will be used to analyze data, which allows for the examination of both within- and between-person variation. Additional statistical techniques include latent class analysis and mixed-effects location scale models.

Outputs include scholarly articles, writings for the general population, a rich and versatile data set, personalized online reports for participants, and laying the groundwork for a later study incorporating religious congregations.

Short-term outcomes include increased scholarly interest in the situational study of self-control and spirituality, as well as personal growth among people who participate in the study and those who read about it.

Long-term outcomes include a network of researchers using this data set to study self-control, spirituality, and well-being, books and articles written for the general public based on the study’s findings, and the ability for study participants to track their self-control and spirituality over the long-term.

Enduring impacts include reconceptualizing the nature of self-control and spirituality; popularizing the use of online ESM studies; promoting increased self-control and spirituality among millions of people; and bringing the social scientific study of self-control and other social-psychological characteristics into religious ministry.