Is self-regulation a burden or a virtue? A comparative perspective

In Nancy Snow & Franco V. Trivigno (eds.), The Philosophy and Psychology of Character and Happiness: An Empirical Approach to Character and Happiness. New York, NY, USA: pp. 181-196 (2014)
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Confucianism demands that individuals comport themselves according to the strictures of ritual propriety—specific forms of speech, clothing, and demeanor attached to a vast array of life circumstances. This requires self-regulation, a cognitive resource of limited supply. When this resource is depleted, a person can experience undesirable consequences such as social isolation and alienation. However, one’s cultural background may be an important mediator of such costs; East Asians, in particular, seem to have comparatively greater self-regulatory strength. I offer some considerations as to why this may be so, and what insights it may afford to theories of virtue generally
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