Wanja Wolff

Wanja Wolff
Universität Konstanz | Uni-Konstanz · Department of Sports Science

Dr.

About

115
Publications
42,372
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
2,077
Citations
Introduction
My primary research focus is on the self-regulation of human performance. Specifically, I am interested in psychological, neuronal, and physiological aspects of self-regulated performance. In this research, I am interested in the temporal dynamics of performance and the temporal dynamics of its' psychoneurophysiological correlates.
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
Universität Bern
Position
  • PostDoc Position
Education
February 2012 - November 2014
Universität Potsdam
Field of study
  • Psychology
October 2005 - November 2011
Universität Konstanz
Field of study
  • Psychology

Publications

Publications (115)
Article
Full-text available
Enduring physical strain is an important ability and prototypically required in athletic activities. However, little is known about the psychological determinants of endurance performance and their underlying neural mechanisms. Here, we investigated self-regulation as one such factor. We recruited 60 participants who hold intertwined rings for as l...
Article
Full-text available
During the past two decades, self-control research has been dominated by the strength model of self-control, which is built on the premise that the capacity for self-control is a limited global resource that can become temporarily depleted, resulting in a state called ego depletion. The foundations of ego depletion have recently been questioned. Th...
Article
The continuous revaluation of rewards lies at the core of Ainslie's account of willpower. Yet, he does not explicate the underlying experiential mechanisms. We draw upon theoretical, neuroscientific, and computational evidence to demonstrate that boredom evokes revaluation. By biasing behavior toward exploration, boredom necessitates effortful will...
Article
Full-text available
Self-control is critical for successful participation and performance in sports and therefore has attracted considerable research interest. Yet, knowledge about self-control remains surprisingly incomplete and inconsistent. Here, we draw attention to boredom as an experience that likely plays an important role in sports and exercise (e.g., exercise...
Article
Full-text available
Disengaging from unattainable goals and reengaging in alternative goals is essential for effective goal pursuit; yet, surprisingly little is known about associated personality factors. Here, we focused on individual differences in self-control (domain-general self-control, if–then planning) and boredom (boredom proneness, boredom avoidance and esca...
Article
Full-text available
Sport and exercise can be boring. In the general population, thinking of sports as boring has been linked to exercising less. However, less is known about the role of boredom in people who participate in ultra-endurance competitions: Do these athletes also associate their sports with boredom , and does boredom pose a self-regulatory challenge that...
Article
Full-text available
There is an ongoing debate about how to test and operationalize self-control. This limited understanding is in large part due to a variety of different tests and measures used to assess self-control, as well as the lack of empirical studies examining the temporal dynamics during the exertion of self-control. In order to track changes that occur ove...
Article
Full-text available
Self-control is a highly adaptive human capacity and research on self-control is booming. To further facilitate self-control research, especially in conditions where time-constraints might render the use of multi-item measures of self-control problematic, a validated time-efficient single item measure would be an asset. However, such a measure has...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sport and exercise can be boring. In the general population, thinking of sports as boring has been linked to exercising less. However, less is known about the role of boredom in people who partake in ultra-endurance competitions: Do these athletes also associate their sports with boredom, and does boredom pose a self-regulatory challenge that predi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Recent research has brought up boredom as guiding signal in goal-directed behavior. Boredom activates a search for more valuable activities, consequently, boredom can challenge goal-directed behavior, also in the sporting context. Here, we examined experienced boredom in athletic training for a competition in 153 athletes with a cross-sectional que...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: Boredom proneness is linked to poor self-regulation, leading to poor decision making and/or increased risk taking. These links have not yet been investigated in the domain of sports and exercise. However, poor decisions or excessive risk behavior would be highly detrimental to sporting performance and, in some cases, even cause physic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Decomposing the structure of human cerebral function in its domains, such as affect regulation or cognition, forms the backbone of psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. Research continues to decipher the domains and hierarchical structure of cerebral function. So far, the findings strongly suggest two higher-order latent factors of general psychopat...
Preprint
Full-text available
Functional accounts of boredom propose that boredom serves as an impartial signal to change something about the current situation, which should give rise to adaptive and maladaptive behavior alike. This seemingly contrasts with research on boredom proneness, which has overwhelmingly shown associations with maladaptive behavior. To shed light on thi...
Article
Full-text available
Arguably, extreme sports athletes exhibit a more significant risk appetite than the general public. Are standard behavioral risk measures able to capture this? To answer this question, we assessed self-reports of risk taking and measured the risk-taking behavior of samples of snowboarders and climbers. Two groups of non-athletes, university student...
Preprint
Full-text available
Introduction: Boredom proneness is linked to poor self-regulation, leading to poor decision making and/or increased risk taking. These links have not yet been investigated in the domain of sports and exercise. However, poor decisions or excessive risk behavior would be highly detrimental to sporting performance and, in some cases, even cause physic...
Preprint
Full-text available
Die steigende Digitalisierung aller Lebensbereiche und der ungebrochene Aufstieg spezialisierter (z.B. ResearchGate) und domänenübergreifender (z.B. Twitter) sozialer Netzwerke macht auch vor der Sportwissenschaft nicht Halt. Dieser Aufstieg und die hiermit verbundenen Chancen und Risiken für die Sportwissenschaft werden bereits im Ze-Phir („Digita...
Preprint
Full-text available
As self-regulation is crucial in top-level performance, prior investigations aimed at the efficacy of the self-regulatory strategy of implementation intentions (i.e., if-then plans) on athletic performance. We investigated the inner obstacles (if) that athletes face in competitive situations and assessed the corresponding goal-directed behaviors (t...
Article
Full-text available
Endurance sports pose a plethora of mental demands that exercisers have to deal with. Unfortunately, investigations of exercise-specific demands and strategies to deal with them are insufficiently researched, leading to a gap in knowledge about athletic requirements and strategies used to deal with them. Here, we investigated which obstacles exerci...
Preprint
Full-text available
Endurance sports pose a plethora of mental demands that exercisers have to deal with. Unfortunately, investigations of exercise-specific demands and strategies to deal with them are insufficiently researched, leading to a gap in knowledge about athletic requirements and strategies used to deal with them. Here, we investigated which obstacles exerci...
Article
Full-text available
If-then planning (implementation intentions) describes a self-regulatory strategy that helps people to attain their goals across a variety of domains, such as achieving physical activity goals. Based on such beneficial effects, if-then plans are anecdotally discussed as a strategy to enhance sports-related performance as well. However, this discuss...
Preprint
Full-text available
Disengaging from unattainable goals and reengaging in alternative goals is essential for effective goal pursuit; yet, surprisingly little is known about associated personality factors. Here, we focused on individual differences in self-control (domain-general self-control, if-then planning) and boredom (boredom proneness, boredom avoidance and esca...
Article
Full-text available
In an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have employed non-pharmaceutical containment measures. The effectiveness of such miti-gation efforts relies on individual compliance (e.g., avoiding to travel or to gather). Crucially, adhering to the required behavioral recommendations places substantial burde...
Article
Of the many people who make New Year’s resolutions, only very few achieve them persistently (Statistic Brain, 2017). This so-called intention-behavior gap extends well beyond the realm of New Year’s resolutions (Sheeran & Webb, 2016) and exemplifies the necessity to not only focus on the processes of goal setting (i.e., motivation) but also on the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Of the many people who make New Year’s resolutions, only very few achieve them persistently (Statistic Brain, 2017). This so-called intention-behavior gap extends well beyond the realm of New Year’s resolutions (Sheeran & Webb, 2016) and exemplifies the necessity to not only focus on the processes of goal setting (i.e., motivation) but also on the...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-control is a highly adaptive human capacity and research on self-control is booming. To further facilitate self-control research, especially in conditions where time-constraints might render the use of multi-item measures of self-control problematic, a validated time-efficient single item measure would be an asset. However, such a measure has...
Article
Full-text available
In the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing is instrumental for containing the pandemic. To maximize its effectiveness, it is paramount to investigate psychological factors that predict adherence to social distancing guidelines and examine corresponding interventions. We focused on individual differences in if-then pla...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives: In the wake of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), social distancing is instrumental for containing the pandemic. To maximize its effectiveness, it is paramount to investigate psychological factors that predict adherence to social distancing guidelines and examine corresponding interventions. We focused on individual differences in...
Chapter
Full-text available
magine yourself walking to the gym in the rain after a long hard day at work. Picture yourself lifting heavy weights, even though you would prefer sitting on the sofa watching your favorite baseball team win a playoff match. This is just one sports-related example during which self-control processes enable us to keep striving for a desirable goalan...
Preprint
Full-text available
Arguably, extreme sports athletes exhibit a more significant risk appetite than the general public. Are standard behavioral risk measures able to capture this? To answer this question, we assessed self-reports of risk taking and measured the risk-taking behavior of samples of snowboarders and climbers. Two groups of non-athletes, university student...
Article
Full-text available
In order to perform at the highest level, elite shooters have to remain focused during the whole course of a tournament, which regularly lasts multiple hours. Investing self-control over extended time periods is often associated with lower levels of perceived self-control strength (i.e., the subjective estimation of how much mental effort one is ca...
Preprint
Full-text available
In an effort to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, countries around the world have employed non-pharmaceutical containment measures. The effectiveness of such mitigation efforts relies on individual compliance (e.g., avoiding to travel or to gather). Crucially, adhering to the required behavioral recommendations places substantial burden...
Article
Full-text available
Self-control does not always work effectively. Whether this reflects the depletion of a global self-control resource is subject to an ongoing debate. We turned to boredom as a potential confounding variable to advance this debate. In a high-powered experiment (N = 719), participants worked on a primary (transcription) task of varying self-control d...
Article
Full-text available
(1) Background: A large body of research has examined the positive effects of physical activity on physical and mental health. However, for some, excessive exercise can develop into an addiction that is detrimental to their health. In the present study, we examine potential personal (self-control, self-concordance) and social (social support) resou...
Article
Full-text available
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) schools around the world have been closed to protect against the spread of coronavirus. In several countries, homeschooling has been introduced to replace classroom schooling. With a focus on individual differences, the present study examined 138 schoolers (age range = 6 to 21 years) regarding...
Preprint
Full-text available
The continuous revaluation of rewards lies at the core of Ainslie's account of willpower. Yet, he does not explicate the underlying experiential mechanisms. We draw upon theoretical, neuroscientific, and computational evidence to demonstrate that boredom evokes revaluation. By biasing behavior towards exploration, boredom necessitates effortful wil...
Preprint
The continuous revaluation of rewards lies at the core of Ainslie’s account of willpower. Yet, he does not explicate the underlying experiential mechanisms. We draw upon theoretical, neuroscientific, and computational evidence to demonstrate that boredom evokes revaluation. By biasing behavior towards exploration, boredom necessitates effortful wil...
Article
Full-text available
The strength model of self-control proposes that all acts of self-control are energized by one global limited resource that becomes temporarily depleted by a primary self-control task, leading to impaired self-control performance in secondary self-control tasks. However, failed replications have cast doubt on the existence of this so-called ego dep...
Article
Full-text available
Physical activity counteracts some of the negative consequences associated with chronic neurological diseases. Here, we describe the levels of physical activity (PA) and sports activity (Sport) in patients with multiple sclerosis (pMS, n = 59) and chronic stroke (pStroke, n = 67) and test compliance with the recommendation for health-promoting phys...
Article
During professional shooting tournaments, which typically last multiple hours, athletes must stay focused at all times in order to perform at their highest levels. Sustaining attention over extended periods of time relies on self-control. Crucially, perceived state self-control strength appears to wane as a function of task duration, which ultimate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-control is critical for successful participation and performance in sports and therefore has attracted considerable research interest. Yet, knowledge about self-control remains surprisingly incomplete and inconsistent. Here, we draw attention to boredom as an experience that likely plays an important role in sports and exercise (e.g., exercise...
Article
Physical exercise is an effective tool for improving public health, but the general population exercises too little. Drawing on recent theorizing on the combined role of boredom and self-control in guiding goal-directed behavior, we test the hypothesis that individual differences in boredom and self-control differentiate high from low exercisers. T...
Preprint
Full-text available
Imagine yourself walking to the gym in the rain after a long hard day at work. Picture yourself lifting heavy weights, even though you would prefer sitting on the sofa watching your favorite baseball team win a playoff match. Envision a marathon runner who keeps pushing herself during the final miles of a run, trying to override her thoughts of qui...
Article
Full-text available
During professional shooting tournaments, which typically last multiple hours, athletes must stay focused at all times in order to perform at their highest levels. Sustaining attention over extended periods of time relies on self-control. Crucially, perceived state self-control strength appears to wane as a function of task duration, which ultimate...
Preprint
Full-text available
If-then planning (implementation intentions) describes a self-regulatory strategy that helps people to attain their goals across a variety of domains, such as achieving physical activity goals. Based on such beneficial effects, if-then plans are anecdotally discussed as a strategy to enhance sports-related performance as well. However, this discuss...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sports performance critically depends on physical fitness and skill level. However, success also hinges on how well athletes deal with psychological obstacles that threaten optimal performance (e.g., Wolff, Bieleke, & Schüler, 2019). For example, in order to make a critical free-throw, basketball players have to ward off challenges to effective mov...
Chapter
Full-text available
Motivation bedeutet sich oder andere zu etwas zu bewegen (lat. movere = bewegen): Was bewegt Sie dazu, dieses Buchkapitel zu lesen? Warum konsumieren Sie dabei einen Apfel und keinen Softdrink (oder umgekehrt)? Was planen Sie als nächstes? Mit der Analyse der Beweggründe für menschliches Verhalten bietet die Motivationspsychologie (wie auch andere...
Preprint
Full-text available
In response to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) schools around the world have been closed to protect against the spread of coronavirus. In several countries, homeschooling has been introduced to replace classroom schooling. With a focus on individual differences, the present study examined 138 schoolers (age range = 6 to 21 years) regarding...
Preprint
Full-text available
Self-control does not always work effectively. Whether this reflects the depletion of a global self-control resource is subject to an ongoing debate. We turned to boredom as a potential confounding variable to advance this debate. In a high-powered experiment (N = 719), participants worked on a primary (transcription) tasks of varying self-control...
Article
Full-text available
Most sports are self-control demanding. For example, during a sprint start, athletes have to respond as fast as possible to the start signal (action initiation) while suppressing the urge to start too early (action inhibition). Here, we examined the cortical hemodynamic response to these demands by measuring activity in the two lateral prefrontal c...
Article
Full-text available
Social distancing during the coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is crucial to reduce the spread of the virus. However, its effectiveness hinges on adherence by individuals who face substantial burdens from the required behavioral restrictions. Here, we investigate sources of individual variation in adhering to social distancing guidelines...
Article
Full-text available
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by coronavirus (SARS-nCoV2) is currently spreading across the world. In response, different sets of pandemic containment measures have been employed by several countries. The effectiveness of non-pharmacological measures such as home confinement hinges on adherence by the population. While adherence to the...
Article
Full-text available
This article reports the translation into German and validation of two self-report measures of mind-wandering and boredom (the Spontaneous and Deliberate Mind-Wandering Scales; SDMWS; Carriere, Seli, & Smilek, 2013, and the Short Boredom Proneness Scale; SBPS; Struk, Carriere, Cheyne, & Danckert, 2017). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) provided...
Preprint
Full-text available
Physical exercise is an effective tool for improving public health, but the general population exercises too little. Drawing on recent theorizing on the combined role of boredom and self-control in guiding goal-directed behavior, we test the hypothesis that individual differences in boredom and self-control differentiate high from low exercisers. T...
Preprint
Full-text available
This article reports the translation into German and validation of two self-report measures of mind-wandering and boredom (the Spontaneous and Deliberate Mind-Wandering Scales; SDMWS; Carriere, Seli, & Smilek, 2013, and the Short Boredom Proneness Scale; SBPS; Struk, Carriere, Cheyne, & Danckert, 2017). Confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) provided...
Preprint
Full-text available
During professional shooting tournaments, which typically last multiple hours, athletes must stay focused at all times in order to perform at their highest levels. Sustaining attention over extended periods of time relies on self-control. Crucially, perceived state self-control strength appears to wane as a function of task duration, which ultimate...
Preprint
Full-text available
Social distancing during the coronavirus-disease-2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is crucial to reduce the spread of the virus. However, its effectiveness hinges on adherence by individuals who face substantial burdens from the required behavioral restrictions. Here, we investigate sources of individual variation in adhering to social distancing guidelines...
Article
Full-text available
The explicit achievement motive is intuitively related to good performance. In contrast, the present paper directs attention to conditions where individuals with a strong explicit achievement motive display poor performance. We hypothesized that participants with a strong achievement motive perform worse in a bicycle ergometer task when task instru...
Article
Full-text available
Muscular strength has a strong positive impact on cardiometabolic health and fitness. However, building up strength endurance requires effortful exercises. From a health perspective, it is important to understand which psychological strategies help people deal with straining exercise. Self-regulation strategies like if-then planning (also known as...
Preprint
Full-text available
During the past two decades, self-control research has been dominated by the strength model of self-control which is built on the premise that the capacity for self-control is a limited global resource that can become temporarily depleted, resulting in a state called ego depletion. The foundations of ego depletion have recently been questioned. Thu...
Preprint
During the past two decades, self-control research has been dominated by the strength model of self-control which is built on the premise that the capacity for self-control is a limited global resource that can become temporarily depleted, resulting in a state called ego depletion. The foundations of ego depletion have recently been questioned. Thu...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) caused by coronavirus (SARS-nCoV2) is currently spreading across the world. In response, different sets of pandemic containment measures have been employed by several countries. The effectiveness of non-pharmacological measures such as home confinement hinges on adherence by the population. While adherence to the...
Article
Full-text available
Enduring cognitive or physical performance over extended periods of time is an important ability in daily life, prototypically required in many athletic, educational, and vocational contexts. A critical requirement for maintaining performance at a high level is that individuals continuously self-regulate various affective experiences (e.g., pain or...
Preprint
Muscular strength has a strong positive impact on cardiometabolic health and fitness. However, building up strength endurance requires effortful exercises. From a health perspective, it is important to understand which psychological strategies help people deal with straining exercise. Consequently, we investigated the efficacy of implementation int...
Preprint
Muscular strength has a strong positive impact on cardiometabolic health and fitness. However, building up strength endurance requires effortful exercises. From a health perspective, it is important to understand which psychological strategies help people deal with straining exercise. Consequently, we investigated the efficacy of implementation int...