Article

The Future and the Will: Planning requires self-control, and ego depletion leads to planning aversion

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Abstract

Planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort. Informed by the strength model of self-regulation, four studies (N = 546) tested the hypothesis that willingness to plan is linked to good self-control. A correlational study (N = 201) found that people high in trait self-control had done more planning than other people and also intended to make more plans during the upcoming week. A laboratory experiment (N = 105) induced a state of ego depletion (i.e., impaired self-control) by having some participants continuously break pre-established motoric habits, and afterward these participants were less willing to make plans for the next four weeks than control participants. A field experiment (N = 112) used a naturally occurring induction of decision fatigue (IKEA shopping) and again found that ego depletion reduced planning. Specifically, fatigued shoppers exiting the store expressed more reluctance to make long-term plans than shoppers who were just arriving at the store. A final laboratory experiment (N = 128) found that ego-depleted participants were only half as likely to choose a planning task as control participants, and identified effort avoidance as a mediator mechanism. Crucially, the three experimental manipulations were longer and stronger than the 5-min depletion tasks often used in previous research (24 min; 2 h; 30 min), and manipulation checks confirmed severe and significant ego depletion. Depletion had no effects on aspirational goals or the desire to relax. We conclude that wants and desires come easily, while planning requires mental work akin to self-control. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

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... This raises the possibility that autonomously and heteronomously primed individuals (relative to individuals that are not primed) may have more and less energy for cognitively taxing activities after persistencerequiring activity is finished, respectively (Berkman et al. 2016;Hagger et al. 2010), a capacity that research indicates may be critical for continued self-regulation. For instance, planning represents an important self-regulatory tool which itself requires self-regulation to use (i.e., planning requires effortful control over thoughts and the mental construction of steps from present to a future goal state; Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018), however, cognitive fatigue has been shown to reduce individuals inclinations to make immediate plans (Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018), plans less certain of being effectively actioned (Lyu et al. 2017), or exercise plans for the following day (Rebar et al. 2018). While research confirms more autonomous involvement in a persistence-requiring activity aids performance in a subsequent activity that requires self-regulation (i.e., a handgrip endurance task; Muraven et al. 2008), it has yet to be established whether priming distinct motivational states may elicit similar effects. ...
... The present research extended this line of research by examining whether priming distinct motivational states would also influence persistence -specifically, whether autonomous motivation and controlling motivation primes would increase and decrease persistence during a task exposing participants to repeated failure, respectively, relative to a neutral prime. Additionally, we examined whether these primes influenced participants exercise plans made after the task, the rationale here being that effective planning often requires self-regulatory resources that the autonomous/ controlling motivation primes may render more/less available (Muraven et al. 2008;Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018). Across both studies, and contrary to expectations, findings indicate it more likely the autonomous motivation and controlling motivation primes exert no influence on persistence and plans to engage in exercise, compared to a neutral prime. ...
... It is therefore unsurprising that we did not find any differences in plans to engage in exercise after the persistence-requiring task. We hypothesized this process because autonomous involvement in an activity (i.e., our persistence task in this instance) has been shown to be less cognitive depleting, hence, more resources should be available to subsequently plan (Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018). Our null findings also contrast with research demonstrating direct effects of motivational priming on subsequent planning (Banting et al. 2011). ...
Article
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The present studies examined whether priming distinct motivational states influenced persistence at a task designed to promote repeated failure, and post-task plans for engaging in self-regulatory activity. Two double-blind, between-subject experiments (Study 1: N = 58; Study 2: N = 92) involved participants being randomized to Autonomous Motivation, Controlling Motivation, or Neutral prime conditions using a scrambled-sentence test. Participants then attempted an impossible persistence task that promoted repeated failure. Following, participants reported their plans to engage in exercise. Using frequentist and Bayesian analyses, Study 1, Study 2, and an internal meta-analysis showed no differences in persistence or planned exercise across priming conditions, thus contrasting with previous research. Unanticipated moderation effects or motivational priming effects being smaller than those inputted into a priori power analyses may be the most likely reasons for these findings.
... Nowhere in the development of the self-leadership concept is it fully acknowledged that there might be some upper boundary to the extent that one can in fact rely on internal cognitive processes to lead oneself. Two decades of research on self-control shows it to be a very costly process and not an unlimited resource (Baumeister, Tice, & Vohs, 2018;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). ...
... In what has been known as the "strength model," or "limited resources model," of self-control (Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, & Tice, 1998;Baumeister et al., 2018;Garrison, Finley, & Schmeichel, 2019;Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010), many studies indicate that exerting self-control to resist impulses on one task, will "deplete" selfcontrol on a following, unrelated task, suggesting many different kinds of self-control rely on a common pool of resources, or seem to. While "resisting an impulse" may be what we typically consider an exertion of selfcontrol, other behaviors typical at work are too, such as making choices of various kinds (Vohs et al., 2008), or planning (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) -this also depletes later self-control. Being depleted causes worse performance on complex cognitive tasks, but not simple ones (Schmeichel et al., 2003), and again, on for example, planning (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018), i.e. there is reciprocal causality. ...
... While "resisting an impulse" may be what we typically consider an exertion of selfcontrol, other behaviors typical at work are too, such as making choices of various kinds (Vohs et al., 2008), or planning (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) -this also depletes later self-control. Being depleted causes worse performance on complex cognitive tasks, but not simple ones (Schmeichel et al., 2003), and again, on for example, planning (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018), i.e. there is reciprocal causality. The more a behavior taxes the executive functions, the more likely to cause depletion, which makes it more difficult to use executive functions. ...
Thesis
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In this thesis, I add to theories of management of knowledge work at the micro-level, by an examination of self-leadership in knowledge work and organizational attempts to foster it at the individual and team levels, in the empirical settings of innovative software development, consultants, and activity based working; the methods are mainly interviews and thematic analysis (I-III), and survey and statistical analysis (IV). The main research question has been: How can organizations support sustainable and productive self-leadership in their employees? In paper I, a ‘seeing work’-skill emerged in all interviews with managers, implicating situational judgment and attention as core to what is ultimately seen as successful self-direction. In paper II, consultants indicate the expectation to “infer” demands as leading to internalization of demands and seeing oneself as a source of stress. While consultants expressed a belief in internal self-discipline strategies of a more reactive nature to self-lead, in fact, external and proactive strategies (selecting or modifying the working environment) were the most effective in practice, echoing recent research on limited self-regulatory resources. Paper IV examined quantitatively the hypothesis, based on papers I & II, that having timely access to work relevant information (“information richness”) would have a stronger relationship with lower cognitive stress and better performance, than internal, self-focused self-leadership strategies, in the setting of Activity Based Working Environments where employees have high autonomy to decide how, where, when, and with whom to perform work. This hypothesis was confirmed, suggesting that when organizational situations cannot be strongly structured, for example because the best work process is not known, or innovation or different collaboration constellations are needed, they need instead to be enriched so that employee orientation and co-ordination does not become too much of a burden on the individual employee, disrupting cognitive functioning and performance. Paper III is a case study of agile coaches at Spotify and how they practise enabling leadership, a key balancing force of complexity leadership theory (Uhl-Bien, Marion, & McKelvey, 2007). Coaches practise enabling leadership by increasing the context‐sensitivity of others, supporting other leaders, establishing and reinforcing simple principles, observing group dynamics, surfacing conflict and facilitating and encouraging constructive dialogue. The AC as complexity leader values being present, observing and reacting in the moment. Findings suggest flexible structure provided by an attentive coach may prove a fruitful way to navigate and balance autonomy and alignment in organizations. The re-conceptualization of self-leadership in this thesis points to the importance for the individual of 1) being able to navigate ”weak situations” and to ”see” or ”create” one’s own work tasks so as to make a valuable contribution to the organization, and 2) for the ability to offload cognitive demands onto the environment, in a broad sense. Supporting self-leadership, then, would mean supporting these two main mechanisms. And with a resource perspective, organizations can offer support by building or offering resources, of various kinds, that allow for employees to have more resources to spare for where and when they are truly needed.
... However, given that much of daily life is consistent and predictable (Quellette & Wood, 1998), we suggest that it still holds great potential. Another limitation to proactive self-control is that it likely requires volitional and motivational resources that are not always available (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Nonetheless, there are indications that even brief acts of planning can have immense benefits (Gollwitzer, 1999). ...
... How might these plans improve self-control? Although planning requires effort (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) we suggest that self-control planning might support self-control by making it less effortful during challenging situations. Past studies suggest that simple acts of planning (Gollwitzer, 1999) support self-control by facilitating automaticity and making self-control more efficient and less dependent on limited resources (Webb & Sheeran, 2003). ...
... However, our results suggest an important scientific questiondo people naturally form plans for how to employ self-control? Planning is often experienced as effortful, so people will sometimes avoid planning (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Nonetheless, mind-wandering studies indicate that people's thoughts are often about the future. ...
Article
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Self-control is often thought to be reactive and focused solely on the inhibition of responses elicited by temptations. In two studies, we assessed whether self-control can instead (1) be planned and (2) target the antecedents of the response to temptation. We assessed self-control-planning, four antecedent-focused self-control strategies (i.e., situation-selection, situation-modification, distraction, & reappraisal) and one response-focused strategy (i.e., response-inhibition). In both studies, we found that self-control planning predicted the initiation of self-control independently of temptation. Each antecedent-focused self-control strategy uniquely predicted goal-progress. Response-inhibition did not produce consistent effects on goal-progress. These studies provide evidence that people proactively initiate self-control by targeting the antecedents of temptation; and that doing so supports goal-progress.
... It bears repeating that ineffective manipulation of the independent variable could easily lead to a literature rife with mixed results, as has occurred with depletion research in the last decade. It is notable that longer/stronger depletion manipulations have been effective at producing decreased performance in the dependent variable task (e.g., Mullis and Hatfield 2018;Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018;Guilfoyle, Struther, von Monsjou, and Shoikhedbrod 2019;Hurley 2019), which raises questions about the underlying mechanism behind the phenomenon. ...
... Many depletion studies use extremely short T1 tasks, which may not be sufficient to incur depletion. Longer T1 manipulations of depletion do reliably decrease T2 performance (e.g., Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018;Guilfoyle et al. 2019), although, as noted in the previous subsection, more attention must be paid to causal mechanisms. Given that many of the mixed results in the depletion literature may be attributable to ineffective manipulations, it is important that researchers avoid this issue and seek to determine task duration and cognitive effort requirements that can reliably induce depletion. ...
Preprint
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Ego depletion, an influential social psychology theory that has been applied in auditing research, is currently in crisis following unsuccessful attempts to replicate the phenomenon. I summarize the questions surrounding ego depletion as a phenomenon and the strength model of self-control asits theoretical explanation. Existing evidence suggests depletion is a real phenomenon, but that its effect is likely overstated in prior literature. However, it seems that the strength model is not the best theoretical explanation for depletion. To provide a path forward to continue investigating this phenomenon, I describe four alternative theories from prior literature. Highlighting motivation as a common thread in these theories, I then propose a new theory that views ego depletion as transient cognitive fatigue. Finally, I discuss opportunities for future research in auditing, best practices for the design of these studies, and meta-lessons that accounting researchers can take from crises in psychology research.
... However, the gains of challenge stressors do not come without a cost (Crawford et al., 2010;LePine et al., 2005). The planning, structuring and coordinating that are linked to cognitive demands of flexible work are likely effortful (Frese & Zapf, 1994;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) and could increase fatigue in employees (McEwen, 1998). Taking the positive (cognitive flexibility and work engagement) and negative (fatigue) aspects together, cognitive demands of flexible work would show ambivalent effects: On the one hand, they could allow employees to personally develop and foster their work engagement. ...
... Both together makes it necessary for employees to constantly analyse their environment and its demands and to adapt their plans, decisions and procedures accordingly (Bäcklander et al., 2018;Jett & George, 2003;Parke et al., 2018). Doing so requires conscious attention and effort and could result in fatigue in employees (Frese & Zapf, 1994;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Zacher & Frese, 2018). In line with this argument, various studies have found that demands resulting from flexible work can exhaust employees (Bäcklander et al., 2018;Höge & Hornung, 2015;Pérez-Zapata et al., 2016;Schmitt et al., 2012;Väänänen et al., 2020). ...
Article
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Cognitive demands of flexible work are the specific cognitive demands of planning of working times, planning of working places, structuring of work tasks, and coordinating with others that arise from flexible work organization. Although these demands have become increasingly widespread their consequences are not well understood. We propose that cognitive demands of flexible work are challenge stressors which can benefit employees, by adding to their cognitive flexibility and work engagement, but also impair employees by causing fatigue. Hypotheses were tested using a two-wave study design in a sample which recently switched to a more flexible work organization (N = 279). Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. We found that planning of working times and planning of working places were related to increases in cognitive flexibility, and coordinating with others was related to increases in work engagement. No significant relations with fatigue were found. Thus, the results suggest that cognitive demands of flexible work helped employees to personally develop and feel motivated at work. However, effects on work engagement were rather small. Future research should control potential confounding variables more thoroughly and examine effects on short-term strain outcomes.
... The effectiveness of goal setting (Epton et al., 2017;Locke & Latham, 2002) and planning to attain goals (Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006) is well-supported empirically. Further, individuals higher in trait self-control are more likely to make plans (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). For the teleworker, cognitive change might mean to set specific goals for the day, which the employee can incrementally work towards step by step. ...
... Plausibly, individuals higher in trait self-control are inclined to use such self-control strategies to resist temptations and impulses in favor of their goals. Indeed, individuals higher in trait self-control more likely use situation modification (e.g., Ent et al., 2015), cognitive change (e.g., Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018), and shortcut strategies (e.g., Galla & Duckworth, 2015). In turn, situation modification (e.g., Duckworth, White, et al., 2016), cognitive change (e.g., Gollwitzer & Sheeran, 2006), and shortcut strategies (e.g., Galla & Duckworth, 2015) can help individuals attain their goals more effectively. ...
Article
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Employees around the globe experience manifold challenges to maintain job performance during the so‐called “work from home experiment” caused by the COVID‐19 crisis. Whereas the self‐control literature suggests that higher trait self‐control should enable employees to deal with these demands more effectively, we know little about the underlying mechanisms. In a mixed‐methods approach and two waves of data collection, we examine how self‐control strategies elucidate the link between teleworking employees’ trait self‐control and their job performance. Using a qualitative approach, we explored which strategies employees use to telework effectively (N = 266). In line with the process model of self‐control, reported strategies pertained to situation modification (i.e., altering the physical, somatic, or social conditions) and cognitive change (i.e., goal setting, planning/scheduling, autonomous motivation). Subsequent pre‐registered, quantitative analyses with a diverse sample of 106 teleworkers corroborated that higher trait self‐control is related to job performance beyond situational demands and prior performance. Among all self‐control strategies, modifying somatic conditions and autonomous motivation were significantly associated with job performance and mediated the self‐control‐performance link. This research provides novel insights into the processes by which employees productively work from home and inspires a broad (er) view on the topic of self‐control at work.
... Planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) empirically showed in four different studies that planning requires self-control and that low levels of self-control might lead people to avoid making plans. ...
... Planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) empirically showed in four different studies that planning requires self-control and that low levels of self-control might lead people to avoid making plans. The planning process itself promotes goal striving, and later on -goal attainment (Gollwitzer & Oettingen, 2011;Webb & Sheeran, 2007). ...
Thesis
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Technology promises to play a significant part in creating a sustainable future, specifically within the agriculture sector. However, the benefit of innovative technologies depends on the willingness of users to adopt them. Although many proven modern technologies are suggested to farmers in developing countries, many of them prefer to use old and less efficient technologies, resulting in inefficient processes and low productivity. Why do some farmers use sustainable innovative technologies while others are reluctant? Do adopters have different traits than non-adopters? This study addresses these questions due to their imminent importance regarding climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental protection, food security, and poverty alleviation. Rather than focusing on socio-economic or geography-related factors, this research offers a new perspective focusing on the farmers, who play a significant role in the process of adopting sustainable technologies. The theoretical grounds for suggesting that personal variables (cognitive, goal-oriented hope, character strengths, and self-control), affect the adoption of sustainable technologies are set. The related hypotheses were put to an empirical test in two large-scale field studies in Senegal and Nepal. Data were collected in face-to-face questionnaires. Two regression analyses of the data obtained from 335 plots in Senegal showed that a significant connection existed between hope and two-character strengths, creativity and judgment, and the adoption of drip irrigation. The relative effect of hope and character strengths on adoption proved greater than the effect of other factors previously studied in the literature. A model on the adoption of agricultural technologies aimed to protect soil degradation in Nepal was also empirically tested. Analyses of the data obtained from 268 plots in Nepal show a significant positive connection between self-control, hope, and technology adoption. The emphasis in this analysis is also placed on the significance of providing farmers with useful information (e.g., about improved practices and the about technologies), which emerges as an important factor in the process of technology adoption. Self-control was also found to have a significant moderating effect in enhancing a positive association between receiving information and technology adoption. One last analysis of the combined data from Senegal and Nepal showed a correlation between hope and irrigation technology (drip irrigation or sprinklers). The proposed models derive from a novel interdisciplinary perspective that combines positive psychology with environmental studies. The contribution of this study is threefold: From a theoretical perspective, it contributes to the development of the nascent field of positive sustainability, proposing innovative theoretical connections between positive psychology literature and literature on sustainable development. On the empirical level, the study offers new relevant real-life data, in an area where data is scarce and uses it to test the theoretical hypotheses. Additionally, the importance of this study lies in its practical value: it focuses on variables that can be influenced by policy, education, and communication. Thus, this model attempts to add to the extant literature by leading to practical recommendations with the aim of assisting technology diffusion in general, and specifically in the agriculture development community.
... In a study examining hypothetical effects of exerting effort, participants who imagined being depleted after an exhausting day chose less cognitively and emotionally demanding and more funny film alternatives compared to participants who imagined being energetic (Eden, Johnson, & Hartmann, 2018). Finally, one study suggests that self-reported effort avoidance may partly mediate ego depletion effects (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). These studies provide scattered evidence for the hypothesis, even though they are mostly based on fairly small samples and to date none of these findings has been replicated. ...
... long and easy tasks) might evoke similar subjective states as cognitively demanding tasks (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Johnson, & Larson, 2019). Besides, several studies suggested that increasing the duration of the manipulation for the high demand condition evokes stronger effects (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Vohs, Baumeister, & Schmeichel, 2012). We therefore refrained from matching the control task in terms of duration and task category. ...
Article
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Ego depletion effects are usually examined in a sequential task paradigm in which exerting mental effort in a first task is thought to affect performance on a subsequent self-control task. A so-called ego depletion effect is observed if performance on the second task is impaired for the high demand relative to the low demand group. The present studies take a different approach. Instead of measuring performance in the second task that is equally difficult for all participants, the present studies investigated effects of effortful exertion on the choice to willingly exert effort on a subsequent task. Three pre-registered studies investigated if participants select less effort demanding math problems for upcoming tasks compared to a control group after exerting mental effort in an initial task. Results were mixed. Study 1 (N = 86) revealed no significant effect of mental effort exertion on mean choice difficulty. In Study 2 (N = 269), the expected effect emerged in an exploratory analysis when controlling for math self-assessment, which was robustly associated with the choice measure. Study 3 (N = 330) descriptively, albeit non-significantly replicated this result. An internal random-effects meta-analysis revealed a small overall effect of g = 0.18 when accounting for math self-assessment, albeit with large heterogeneity. Exploratory analyses point to the importance of the subjective experience of mental effort in effort-selection paradigms. We discuss the implications of the small overall effect size for future research and the possibility to examine effort choice in everyday life.
... In a study examining hypothetical effects of exerting effort, participants who imagined being depleted after an exhausting day chose less cognitively and emotionally demanding and more funny film alternatives compared to participants who imagined being energetic (Eden, Johnson, & Hartmann, 2018). Finally, one study suggests that self-reported effort avoidance may partly mediate ego depletion effects (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). These studies provide scattered evidence for the hypothesis, even though they are mostly based on fairly small samples and to date none of these findings has been replicated. ...
... long and easy tasks) might evoke similar subjective states as cognitively demanding tasks (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Johnson, & Larson, 2019). Besides, several studies suggested that increasing the duration of the manipulation for the high demand condition evokes stronger effects (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Vohs, Baumeister, & Schmeichel, 2012). We therefore refrained from matching the control task in terms of duration and task category. ...
Preprint
Ego depletion effects are usually examined in a sequential task paradigm in which exerting mental effort in a first task is thought to affect performance on a subsequent self-control task. A so-called ego depletion effect is observed if performance on the second task is impaired for the high demand relative to the low demand group. The present studies take a different approach. Instead of measuring performance in the second task that is equally difficult for all participants, the present studies investigated effects of effortful exertion on the choice to willingly exert effort on a subsequent task. Three pre-registered studies investigated if participants select less effort demanding math problems for upcoming tasks compared to a control group after exerting mental effort in an initial task. Results were mixed. Study 1 (N = 86) revealed no significant effect of mental effort exertion on mean choice difficulty. In Study 2 (N = 269), the expected effect emerged in an exploratory analysis when controlling for math self-assessment, which was robustly associated with the choice measure. Study 3 (N = 330) descriptively, albeit non-significantly replicated this result. An internal random-effects meta-analysis revealed a small overall effect of g = 0.18 when accounting for math self-assessment, albeit with large heterogeneity. Exploratory analyses point to the importance of the subjective experience of mental effort in effort-selection paradigms. We discuss the implications of the small overall effect size for future research and the possibility to examine effort choice in everyday life.
... Moreover, planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort (Sjåstad and Baumeister, 2018). Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) empirically showed in four different studies that planning requires self-control and that low levels of self-control might lead people to avoid making plans. ...
... Moreover, planning is a future-directed thought process that is highly beneficial, but it requires mental effort (Sjåstad and Baumeister, 2018). Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) empirically showed in four different studies that planning requires self-control and that low levels of self-control might lead people to avoid making plans. The planning process itself promotes goal striving, and later on -goal attainment (Gollwitzer and Oettingen, 2011;Webb and Sheeran, 2007). ...
Article
The overall willingness of smallholder farmers to adopt new green technologies remains low, in spite of the great progress made in understanding the factors that affect their decision. The present study introduces an interdisciplinary approach combining positive psychology and sustainable development studies to show that two personal resources – self-control (a learned repertoire of goal-directed skills that enable people to act upon their aims) and cognitive goal-oriented hope (the ability to follow different routes to pursue one's goal), prompt the adoption of technologies by smallholder farmers. Both personal resources facilitate achieving future goals and changing existing circumstances. A theoretical moderation model on the adoption of agricultural technologies aimed to protect soil degradation in Nepal is proposed and empirically tested. Data were collected from 268 households in the Jhapa district by a face-to-face questionnaire. A multiple regression analysis tested and confirmed the hypothesized moderation model. Following the discovery of a significant interaction, the nature of the interaction was farther explored by calculating simple slopes. Analysis results show a significant positive connection between self-control (p-value = 0.002), hope (p-value = 0.005), information (p-value < 0.001), and technology adoption. Self-control was also found to have a significant moderating effect in enhancing a positive association between receiving information and technology adoption (p-value = 0.017). In addition to its theoretical innovation and empirical contribution, the importance of this study lies in its practical implications, given that policy, education, and communication may influence hope and self-control levels.
... To show that the depletion of self-regulation (and not any other variables) is driving the effects, we applied a manipulation check to examine subjective self-regulation depletion [61,62]. The manipulation check is considered by some as informative regarding internal and construct validity [63,64]. ...
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Previous studies have demonstrated that music has a positive effect on individuals during exercise and sports. We speculate that one of the mechanisms for this positive effect may be that music reduces the consumption of self-regulation strength. The primary objective of this study was to use a self-regulation strength model to explain the impact of music on individuals during aerobic exercises. Specifically, we examined the effects of synchronous music on college students’ depletion of self-regulation during aerobic exercises. The participants underwent a pre-test in which they had to maintain 50% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) isometric grip and do exercise planning tasks. For subsequent power bicycle riding (aerobic exercise), the participants were divided into a music group and a control group. The music group performed aerobic exercises with synchronous music, while the control group performed aerobic exercises without music. After aerobic exercise, the participants underwent a post-test for isometric grip and exercise planning tasks. The results showed that the music group planned to reduce their efforts less for an upcoming exercise period ( p < 0.01, d = 0.81), and their wrist flexor muscle group generated less electromyographic activation during an isometric grip task that maintained 50% MVC ( p < 0.05, d = 0.80) than the control group. However, the two groups showed no difference in the duration of 50% MVC. This shows that: (a) for the same duration, participants in the music group required a lower degree of muscle activation than the control group, suggesting that music reduced the consumption of self-regulation strength in aerobic exercise; and (b) music decreased participants’ planned exertion declined, also suggesting that music reduced the consumption of self-regulation strength in aerobic exercise.
... Indeed, these populations have to cope with the detrimental effects (e.g., stress) induced by everyday stigmatisation (e.g., related to age, weight, health, socioeconomic status). This may tax self-control resources and therefore decrease their availability for other resource-demanding activities that are typically involved by health behaviour change, such as planning one's physical activity (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). ...
Preprint
Intervention science faces a hazardous paradox: on the one hand, vulnerable populations (e.g., patients, people from low socio-economic background, older adults) are those for whom adoption of healthy behaviours is most urgent; on the other hand, behaviour change models are less predictive, and interventions less successful, in these populations. This commentary presents four reasons that may explain this issue: (1) research mostly focuses on what causes behaviour and how to change it, at the expense of investigating among whom and under what conditions models are valid; (2) models put an undue emphasis on individual cognitions; (3) most studies are not conducted on vulnerable populations; (4) most researchers are from high-income countries. Several avenues are proposed to address this issue: (a) providing a central place to the context and audience in health behaviour change modelisation, through collaborations with researchers from other disciplines and countries, and with members of the targeted audience; (b) better reporting samples’ socio-demographic characteristics and increasing samples’ diversity; (c) using more rigorous and innovative designs (e.g., powered randomised controlled trials, N-of-1 trials, intensive longitudinal studies). In conclusion, it becomes urgent to change the way we do research: the social utility and credibility of intervention science depend on it.
... These symptoms are generally associated with a reduction in performance and/or an increase in mental effort engaged in the ongoing task and experienced during or after prolonged periods of effortful cognitive activity (Ackerman, 2011;Van Cutsem et al., 2022). This phenomenon impacts society as a whole by reducing performances in many different domains, such as decision-making (Osgood, 2019), planification (Sjåstad and Baumeister, 2018), alcohol abuse (Muraven et al., 2002), or different physical activities (Pageaux and Lepers, 2018). ...
Article
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Mental fatigue can be studied by using either the time-on-task protocol or the sequential task protocol. In the time-on-task protocol, participants perform a long and effortful task and a decrease in performance in this task is generally observed over time. In the sequential task protocol, a first effortful or control task is followed by a second effortful task. The performance in the second task is generally worse after the effortful task than after the control task. The principal aim of the present experiment is to examine the relationship between these two decrements in performance while concomitantly using a sequential task protocol and assessing the performance of the first effortful task as a function of time-on-task. We expect a positive correlation between these two decrements in performance. A total of 83 participants performed a 30-min fatiguing mental task (i.e., a modified Stroop task) or a control task followed by a time-to-exhaustion handgrip task. As expected, this protocol combining the time-on-task and sequential task protocols allowed us to observe (1) a decrease in performance over time during the Stroop task, (2) a worst performance in the handgrip task after the Stroop task by comparison to the control task, (3) a positive correlation between these two effects. The decrease in performance during the Stroop task also correlated with the subjective measures of boredom and fatigue, whereas the detrimental effect observed in the handgrip task did not. Our findings suggest that the two fatigue-related phenomena share a common mechanism but are not completely equivalent.
... To break the routines entails extra control, attention, and effort: People need to challenge underlying assumptions, find out alternative novel ways, and take action (Wood et al., 2002). To make changes, people also need to plan forward, which consumes cognitive resources because people need to project their minds into future events, imagine possible situations, and think about corresponding actions (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Moreover, people need to regulate emotions to energize proactive efforts (Bindl et al., 2012). ...
Article
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Scholars have long argued that effective changes require persistence in proactive work behavior and regarded persistence as a critical part of individual proactivity, but seldom have they examined whether, why, and under what conditions would people persist. Based on Cangiano and Parker’s (2016) model of PWB and well-being, we propose that proactive work behavior has contrasting effects on subsequent behavior through motivation and resource-depletion pathways, captured by role-breadth self-efficacy and emotional exhaustion respectively. We further propose that organizational management uncertainty would enhance the resource depletion effect and weaken the motivation effect, because it makes proactive work behavior more resource-demanding and makes it more difficult for people to apply their previous experiences to future acts. Across two studies, we showed that the indirect effect through emotional exhaustion was dependent on organizational management uncertainty, but that through role-breadth self-efficacy was not. These findings help us better understand the persistence in proactive work behavior and the influence of uncertainty at work.
... Third, regarding planning as a mental simulation for future behavior, constructing these mental simulations is likely to be a demanding and psychologically resource-intensive activity (Mumford et al., 2001). Overly detailed plans can deplete one's general resources for self-regulation, and can subsequently be detrimental to the creative behaviors that require self-control that follow (Sjstad & Baumeister, 2018). Last, specific implementation plans concentrate on the methods specified in the plan, decreasing attempts at other methods that are not included in the plan (Claudia & Wendy, 2012). ...
Article
Research has demonstrated that on the path from a creative idea to a creative outcome, high creativity motivation and self‐efficacy do not necessarily lead to creative behavior. The present study proposed and examined the notion that daily creativity planning could promote creative behavior and contribute to the cultivation of creativity. A total of 77 middle school students (39 students in the experimental group and 38 in the control group) participated in this study, for which a quasi‐experimental design was administered. The experimental group conducted a two‐week daily planning for creative activities, while the control group did not conduct any intervention. The results showed that students' creativity motivation and creative self‐efficacy were at relatively high levels overall and were positively and moderately correlated with creative behavior. Daily planning could effectively facilitate students' creative behavior. These findings point to a promising and simple creativity enhancement strategy for cultivating students to develop the habit of making creative plans in their daily lives.
... A political act is instrumental and self-serving, which may potentially obtain resources for actors from their colleagues and even leaders (Gabriel et al., 2018). However, it is also a nonwork behavior, which impedes work progress and occupies worktime, resulting in depletion of self-control resources (Sjåstad and Baumeister, 2018). Importantly, we note that prior research theoretically addresses the negative implications for political acts on the organizational level (Crawford et al., 2019). ...
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A political act is a typical self-serving behavior that works to promote or protect self-interest. However, limited research explores its relationship with daily downstream behavior. Based on the ego depletion theory, the present study attempts to clarify when and how daily political acts will be transformed into interpersonal deviance. We collected 760 cases nested in 152 full time workers in mainland China through the experience sampling method. Via a multilevel structural equation model and hierarchical linear model, we tested the mediated moderation model. The results showed that political acts correlated with interpersonal deviance on a daily basis. Moral self-efficacy buffers the relationship between political acts and interpersonal deviance, whereas chronic job strain amplifies the relationship. Furthermore, moral self-efficacy can mediate the moderating role of chronic job strain.
... According to the strength model of self-regulation, an initial exertion of self-control leads to impaired executive functions. Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) explicitly documented an array of negative effects of the ego depletion effect including increased impulsiveness, diminished persistence, irrational bias, and increased discounting of future planning, which are akin to crucial threats to accurate monitoring of learning. Hence, when it comes to learning, a key hypothesis derived from this model may be that depleted learners are either less willing or less capable of monitoring their learning processes, resulting in poor judgments of learning (i.e., calibration). ...
Article
Multimedia learning often consists of a sequence of tasks, and research suggests that the sequence itself may influence learning outcomes. This study examines one theory related to task sequencing, known as ego depletion, and its interaction with a well‐established instructional design effect, the seductive details effect. To investigate the potential impact of ego depletion, a state of depleted self‐control strength, on learning with seductive details, which are interesting but irrelevant elements of the instruction, we conducted a randomized controlled experiment in which both ego depletion and seductive details were manipulated as two between‐subjects independent variables. Although manipulation checks confirmed the efficacy of the interventions, we found mixed results in learning outcome measures, particularly in the investigation of an interaction between the seductive details effect and ego depletion. Specifically, we found an amplified seductive details effect on transfer but not retention for depleted participants. These results suggest that ego depletion may not always occur to an extent that significantly influences learning in learner‐paced learning environments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... They found that self-control is typically impaired when the cognitive resources available for decisionmaking are scarce. Therefore, decision fatigue temporarily reduces the quality of subsequent decisions (Bertrams et al., 2015;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Decision fatigue in nursing practice occurs when a person makes an inappropriate decision for a patient due to fatigue from numerous previous decisions and lack of response to basic needs. ...
... Once the ego depletion effect is induced by the first task, the participants in the depletion condition perform worse than non-depletion participants in the second task. Using the sequential task paradigm, researchers have widely examined and confirmed the ego depletion effect on different occasions (e.g., Dang et al., 2021;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Tsai & Li, 2020; for a review and meta-analysis, see; Hagger, Wood, Stiff, & Chatzisarantis, 2010;Dang, 2018). ...
Article
An important function of positive emotional design is protecting learning from negative impacts by promoting self-regulation. The present study examines the effects of the emotional design principle in the situation of ego depletion, which reflects a period of self-regulation failure due to a lack of mental resources. Based on a sample of 120 students from a Chinese university, two groups of participants divided into depletion and non-depletion conditions first received different self-regulation manipulations, and then attended a multimedia lesson, with either a positive emotional design or a neutral emotional design. It was found that learning with positive emotional design materials alleviated the decrease in the transfer performance of the depletion group by preventing cognitive overload. These results are consistent with the proposition that implementing an emotional design approach can prevent the impairment of learning. The results also provide preliminary evidence for the assumption that learners' affective states may impact the consumption of their mental resources, and, in turn, affect cognitive load. Additional implications for the role of learners’ affective states in cognitive load are discussed.
... sensation of effort and empirical evidence indicates that this reduces the willingness to invest further effort (Sjåstad and Baumeister, 2018;Lin et al., 2020). Recent theorizing postulates that self-control allocation reflects the reward-based choice that the expected value of applying control outweighs the resulting self-control costs (Shenhav et al., 2013(Shenhav et al., , 2017. ...
Article
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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 can be perceived as boring but can also be used to alleviate boredom). Specifically, we argue that studying boredom in the context of sports and exercise will also advance our understanding of self-control as a reward-based choice. We demonstrate this by discussing evidence for links between self-control and boredom and by highlighting the role boredom plays for guiding goal-directed behavior. As such, boredom is likely to interact with self-control in affecting sports performance and exercise participation. We close by highlighting several promising routes for integrating self-control and boredom research in the context of sports performance and exercise behavior.
... This is in fact supported by evidence suggesting that long-term goal attainment is correlated, not with more successfully resisting temptation, but with feeling tempted less frequently (Hofmann et al. 2012;Milyavskaya and Inzlicht 2017). Additionally, trait self-control measures are robustly correlated with the tendency to engage in planning (Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018). It thus seems that those who excel at exerting self-control tend to rely on diachronic strategies more frequently than on synchronic ones. ...
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Researchers often claim that self-control is a skill. It is also often stated that self-control exertions are intentional actions. However, no account has yet been proposed of the skillful agency that makes self-control exertion possible, so our understanding of self-control remains incomplete. Here I propose the skill model of self-control, which accounts for skillful agency by tackling the guidance problem: how can agents transform their abstract and coarse-grained intentions into the highly context-sensitive, fine-grained control processes required to select, revise and correct strategies during self-control exertion? The skill model borrows conceptual tools from 'hierarchical models' recently developed in the context of motor skills, and asserts that self-control crucially involves the ability to manage the implementation and monitoring of regulatory strategies as the self-control exercise unfolds. Skilled agents are able do this by means of flexible practical reasoning: a fast, context-sensitive type of deliberation that incorporates non-propositional representations (including feedback signals about strategy implementation, such as the feeling of mental effort) into the formation and revision of the mixed-format intentions that structure self-control exertion. The literatures on implementation intentions and motivation framing offer corroborating evidence for the theory. As a surprising result, the skill of self-control that allows agents to overcome the contrary motivations they experience is self-effacing: instead of continuously honing this skill, expert agents replace it with a different one, which minimizes or prevents contrary motivations from arising in the first place. Thus, the more expert someone is at self-control,
... describing objects and events abstractly, in ways that apply to multiple instances beyond the current one: Fujita et al., 2006Fujita et al., , 2018. Additionally, it has been recently shown that a greater tendency toward forming detailed plans is associated with greater self-control (Ludwig et al., 2018;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). This is also an instance of resolve: seeing the specific situation not in isolation but as a crucial step in a broader action pattern. ...
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In “Willpower with and without effort”, G. Ainslie advances our understanding of self-control by theoretically unifying multiple forms of willpower. But one crucial question remains unanswered: How do agents pick the right forms of willpower in each situation? I argue that willpower requires tactical skill, which detects willpower-demanding contexts, selects context-appropriate tactics, and monitors their implementation. Research on tactical skill will significantly advance our understanding of willpower.
... This is in fact supported by evidence suggesting that long-term goal attainment is correlated, not with more successfully resisting temptation, but with feeling tempted less frequently (Hofmann et al. 2012;Milyavskaya and Inzlicht 2017). Additionally, trait self-control measures are robustly correlated with the tendency to engage in planning (Sjåstad and Baumeister 2018). It thus seems that those who excel at exerting self-control tend to rely on diachronic strategies more frequently than on synchronic ones. ...
Preprint
Full-text available
Researchers often claim that self-control is a skill, an ability that threads cognitive and motivational processes together to achieve commitment-concordant action in the face of contrary motivations. It is also often stated that self-control exertions are intentional actions. However, no account has yet been proposed of the skillful agency that makes self-control exertion possible, and thus our understanding of self-control remains incomplete. Here I propose the skill model of self-control. This model accounts for skillful agency by tackling the guidance problem: how can agents transform their abstract and coarse-grained intentions into the highly context-sensitive, fine-grained control processes required to select, revise and correct strategies during self-control exertion? The skill model borrows conceptual tools from ‘hierarchical models’ recently developed in the context of motor skills, and asserts that self-control crucially involves the ability to manage the implementation and monitoring of regulatory strategies as the self-control exercise unfolds. Skilled agents are able do this by means of flexible practical reasoning: a fast, context-sensitive type of deliberation that incorporates non-propositional representations (including feedback signals about strategy implementation, such as the feeling of mental effort) into the formation of the practical intentions that structure self-control exertion. The literatures on implementation intentions and motivation framing offer corroborating evidence for the theory. The skill model has a surprising result: while cognitive control may be necessary for self-control exertions, expert agents will tend to rely much less on cognitive control than less skilled agents.
... Boredom and the sense of effort that accompanies the application of self-control seem to affect goaldirected behavior in close tandem, but with clearly differentiable functions ( Figure 1). As we have outlined above, applying self-control creates the sensation of effort and empirical evidence indicates that this reduces the willingness to invest further effort 49,50 . Recent theorizing postulates that selfcontrol allocation reflects the reward-based choice that the expected value of applying control outweighs the resulting self-control costs 8,11 . ...
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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 can be perceived as boring but can also be used to alleviate boredom). Specifically, we argue that studying boredom in the context of sports and exercise will also advance our understanding of self-control as a reward-based choice. We demonstrate this by discussing evidence for links between self-control and boredom and by highlighting the role boredom plays for guiding goal-directed behavior. As such, boredom is likely to interact with self-control in affecting sports performance and exercise participation. We close by highlighting several promising routes for integrating self-control and boredom research in the context of sports performance and exercise behavior.
... These costs of exerting self-control in turn reduce the motivation to further exert self-control (Inzlicht & Schmeichel, 2012). Effort avoidance has empirically been reflected, for example, in a reduced willingness to engage in tasks that are effortful (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) or in a reduction of effort that is invested in activities that place demands on self-control (e.g., Lin, Saunders, Friese, Evans, & Inzlicht, 2020). It is important to note that some findings suggest that rather than causing effort avoidance, exerting self-control might increase approach motivation (Schmeichel, Harmon-Jones, & Harmon-Jones, 2010) and reward sensitivity (Wagner, Altman, Boswell, Kelly, & Heatherton, 2013). ...
Article
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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. Thus, although self-control is among the most researched psychological concepts with high societal relevance, an inconsistent body of literature limits our understanding of how self-control operates. Here, we propose that the inconsistencies are partly due to a confound that has unknowingly and systematically been introduced into the ego-depletion research: boredom. We propose that boredom might affect results of self-control research by placing an unwanted demand on self-control and signaling that one should explore behavioral alternatives. To account for boredom in self-controlled behavior, we provide a working model that integrates evidence from reward-based models of self-control and recent theorizing on boredom to explain the effects of both self-control exertion and boredom on subsequent self-control performance. We propose that task-induced boredom should be systematically monitored in self-control research to assess the validity of the ego-depletion effect.
... Although we could ascertain the gender breakdown of the sample based on who accepted the study invitations, we could not link gender or age to each participant's respective data. Studies using this same Norwegian sample typically show an age range of around 20-26 years (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). ...
Article
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Informed by moral typecasting theory, we predicted a gender bias in harm evaluation, such that women are more easily categorized as victims and men as perpetrators. Study 1 participants assumed a harmed target was female (versus male), but especially when labeled ‘victim’. Study 2 participants perceived animated shapes perpetuating harm as male and victimized shapes as female. Study 3 participants assumed a female employee claiming harassment was more of a victim than a male employee making identical claims. Female victims were expected to experience more pain from an ambiguous joke and male perpetrators were prescribed harsher punishments (Study 4). Managers were perceived as less moral when firing female (versus male) employees (Study 5). The possibility of gender discrimination intensified the cognitive link between women and victimhood (Study 6). Across six studies in four countries (N = 3,137), harm evaluations were systematically swayed by targets’ gender, suggesting a gender bias in moral typecasting.
... Empirically, effort avoidance has been reflected for example in a reduced willingness to engage in tasks that are effortful (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018) or in a reduction of effort that is invested in control demanding activities (e.g., Lin, Saunders, Friese, Evans, & Inzlicht, in press). It is important to note that some findings suggest that rather than causing effort avoidance, self-control exertion might increase approach motivation (Schmeichel, Harmon-Jones, & Harmon-Jones, 2010) and reward sensitivity (Wagner, Altman, Boswell, Kelly, & Heatherton, 2013). ...
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. Thus, although self-control is among the most researched psychological concepts with high societal relevance, an inconsistent body of literature limits our understanding of how self-control operates. Here, we propose that the inconsistencies are partly due to a confound that has unknowingly and systematically been introduced into ego depletion research: Boredom. We propose that boredom might affect results of self-control research by 1) placing an unwanted self-control demand, and 2) signaling that one should explore behavioral alternatives. To account for boredom in self-controlled behavior, we provide a working model that integrates evidence from reward-based models of self-control and recent theorizing on boredom to explain effects of both self-control exertion and boredom on subsequent self-control performance. We propose that task-induced boredom should be systematically monitored in self-control research to assess the validity of the ego depletion effect.
... Consistently with this proposition, recent evidence showed that the depletion intensity is positively correlated with subsequent fatigue perception (Tsai & Li, 2019). When the manipulation lasted for 1 hr or more, the effect size increased from medium to large (Radel, Gruet, & Barzykowski, 2019;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). Future studies need to systematically test the dose-dependent feature of ego depletion. ...
Article
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There is an active debate regarding whether the ego depletion effect is real. A recent preregistered experiment with the Stroop task as the depleting task and the antisaccade task as the outcome task found a medium-level effect size. In the current research, we conducted a preregistered multilab replication of that experiment. Data from 12 labs across the globe (N ¼ 1,775) revealed a small and significant ego depletion effect, d ¼ 0.10. After excluding participants who might have responded randomly during the outcome task, the effect size increased to d ¼ 0.16. By adding an informative, unbiased data point to the literature, our findings contribute to clarifying the existence, size, and generality of ego depletion.
... Some nonsignificant findings may be due to using a very weak manipulation. Pre-registered studies with longer manipulations by Sjåstad and Baumeister (2018) found very large effect sizes on the manipulation check and medium to large effects on the dependent variable. ...
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Ego depletion is a state in which people prefer to avoid mental effort, therefore possibly leading to increased reliance on heuristics. Effortful thinking has been shown to help reduce anchoring effects, in which people form social judgments by adjusting from an initial value (the anchor). We therefore predicted that ego depletion would reduce the amount of adjustment from an initial anchor, leaving the final judgment relatively close to the anchor value. In contrast to previous research by Banker et al. (2017), we excluded alternative explanations, such as social mechanisms. In particular, we tested adjustment from internally generated and externally provided anchors. We theorized that judgment adjustment processes are the same for both internal and external cues. The results showed that neither self-generated nor experimenter-provided anchors were affected by ego depletion, thus leaving social mechanisms as the prime alternative explanation. The data also showed that susceptibility to anchoring is not a trait because reactions to different anchors were not substantially intercorrelated. Further, providing externally or internally generated anchors did not make a fundamental difference. However, the loss of data was higher with self-generated anchors. Overall, the results suggest that researchers can confidently rely on experimenter-generated anchors.
... We did not match the durations of the low-demand and highdemand tasks in Studies 1, 2, and 4 because we wanted to avoid inducing boredom with long but easy control tasks, which might lead to levels of subjective fatigue comparable with those from exerting cognitive effort on a demanding task (Milyavskaya, Inzlicht, Johnson, & Larson, 2019) and potentially undermine the demand manipulation. Further, previous work using unbalanced designs such as ours have reported stronger effects (Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). The symbol-counting task is a cognitive task that parametrically manipulates executive demands (Garavan et al., 2000). ...
Article
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People feel tired or depleted after exerting mental effort. But even preregistered studies often fail to find effects of exerting effort on behavioral performance in the laboratory or elucidate the underlying psychology. We tested a new paradigm in four preregistered within-subjects studies (N = 686). An initial high-demand task reliably elicited very strong effort phenomenology compared with a low-demand task. Afterward, participants completed a Stroop task. We used drift-diffusion modeling to obtain the boundary (response caution) and drift-rate (information-processing speed) parameters. Bayesian analyses indicated that the high-demand manipulation reduced boundary but not drift rate. Increased effort sensations further predicted reduced boundary. However, our demand manipulation did not affect subsequent inhibition, as assessed with traditional Stroop behavioral measures and additional diffusion-model analyses for conflict tasks. Thus, effort exertion reduced response caution rather than inhibitory control, suggesting that after exerting effort, people disengage and become uninterested in exerting further effort.
... Acerca de la evaluación del autocontrol, Tangney et al. (2004) desarrollaron la Escala de Autocontrol (EAC) (Self-Control Scale) de 36 ítems y la versión Abreviada de la EAC (EAC-A) (Brief Self-Control Scale) compuesta por 13 ítems. A la fecha, las escalas han sido utilizadas en numerosos estudios (e.g., Galla & Duckworth, 2015;Haynes, Kemps, & Moffitt, 2016;Schmidt, Holroyd, Debener, & Hewig, 2017;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Watson & Milfont, 2017), aunque la mayoría de estos han optado casi exclusivamente por emplear la escala abreviada de 13 ítems (De Ridder & Gillebaart, 2017;Hoyle & Davisson, 2016;Lindner, Nagy, & Retelsdorf, 2015;Maloney, Grawitch, & Barber, 2012). ...
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Tabla de Contenido El objetivo del estudio fue adaptar y validar la Escala de Autocontrol (EAC) y la Escala de Autocontrol-Abreviada (EAC-A) para población hispanohablante. Se trabajó con una muestra de 430 estudiantes de la Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata (279 mujeres y 151 hombres) con una media de edad de 23.38 (DE = 5.69). El Análisis Factorial Exploratorio reveló en la EAC una estructura de tres factores que fueron denominados Control no reflexivo de los impulsos, Autodisciplina y Control reflexivo de los impulsos. En la EAC-A se halló una estructura de dos factores, que fueron denominados Autodisciplina y Control de los impulsos. Tanto la EAC como la EAC-A presentaron buenos índices de ajuste de modelo y adecuados valores de consistencia interna. Se presentan asimismo evidencias de validez concurrente y convergente a través de asociaciones con medidas de impulsividad y responsabilidad respectivamente. Se concluye que ambas escalas resultan válidas para la población bajo estudio. Spanish adaptation of the Self-Control Scale and the Brief Self-Control Scale and evidences of validity in university population. The aim of the study was to adapt and validate the Self-Control Scale (SCS) and the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) for the Spanish-speaking population. We worked with a sample of 430 students from the National University of Mar del Plata (279 women and 151 men) with an average age of 23.38 (SD = 5.69). The Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed in the SCS a three-factor structure. The factors were named as Non-reflective control of impulses, Self-discipline and Reflective control of impulses. In the BSCS, a two-factor structure was found. Factors were named Self-Discipline and Control of the impulses. Both the SCS and the BSCS presented good model fit index and adequate values of internal consistency. Evidence of concurrent and convergent validity is also presented through associations with measures of impulsivity and responsibility, respectively. It is concluded that both scales are valid for the population under study. Introducción Método Participantes Instrumentos Procedimiento Resultados Discusión Referencias 52 55 55 55 56 57 59 61 Palabras clave: autocontrol, escala de autocontrol, adaptación, evaluación
... Acerca de la evaluación del autocontrol, Tangney et al. (2004) desarrollaron la Escala de Autocontrol (EAC) (Self-Control Scale) de 36 ítems y la versión Abreviada de la EAC (EAC-A) (Brief Self-Control Scale) compuesta por 13 ítems. A la fecha, las escalas han sido utilizadas en numerosos estudios (e.g., Galla & Duckworth, 2015;Haynes, Kemps, & Moffitt, 2016;Schmidt, Holroyd, Debener, & Hewig, 2017;Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018;Watson & Milfont, 2017), aunque la mayoría de estos han optado casi exclusivamente por emplear la escala abreviada de 13 ítems (De Ridder & Gillebaart, 2017;Hoyle & Davisson, 2016;Lindner, Nagy, & Retelsdorf, 2015;Maloney, Grawitch, & Barber, 2012). ...
Article
Full-text available
Spanish adaptation of the Self-Control Scale and the Brief Self-Control Scale and evidences of validity in university population. The aim of the study was to adapt and validate the Self-Control Scale (SCS) and the Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS) for the Spanish-speaking population. We worked with a sample of 430 students from the National University of Mar del Plata (279 women and 151 men) with an average age of 23.38 (SD = 5.69). The Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed in the SCS a three-factor structure. The factors were named as Non-reflective control of impulses, Self-discipline and Reflective control of impulses. In the BSCS, a two-factor structure was found. Factors were named Self-Discipline and Control of the impulses. Both the SCS and the BSCS presented good model fit index and adequate values of internal consistency. Evidence of concurrent and convergent validity is also presented through associations with measures of impulsivity and responsibility, respectively. It is concluded that both scales are valid for the population under study.
... In the second ostensibly unrelated study, which participants were told was unrelated to their romantic relationship, participants were randomly assigned to an impaired self-regulatory ability or control condition. Given the current debate regarding the strength of brief self-regulation manipulations (see Baumeister, Tice, & Vohs, 2018;Friese, Loschelder, Gieseler, Frankenbach, & Inzlicht, 2019), participants completed two different lengthy tasks-a restricted writing task (Schmeichel, 2007) and a working memory task (Oswald, McAbee, Redick, & Hambrick, 2015)-which tend to provide more meaningful change in participants' self-regulatory ability than do brief (e.g., 5-min) tasks (see Sjåstad & Baumeister, 2018). For the restricted writing task, all participants wrote a story for 15 min about a recent trip they took. ...
Article
People regularly encounter tempting alternatives to their relationship partners, and it has been argued that paying attention to desirable alternatives increases the risk of infidelity. However, whether the temptation of noticing attractive alternatives leads to actual infidelity should depend on the ability to resist such temptation. More specifically, taking heed of attractive others should increase the likelihood of infidelity only when people lack self-regulatory ability. One experiment and one longitudinal study of newlyweds both demonstrated that the implications of attending to attractive alternatives for infidelity depended on participants' self-regulatory ability to resist such temptations. Specifically, the tendency to notice attractive alternatives was associated with greater infidelity among those with poorer self-regulatory ability, but not among those with greater self-regulatory ability. These results further understanding about how people can maintain and protect their relationships in the face of temptation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
Chapter
Prospection, also known as thinking about the future, is present uniquely in humans. Prospection allows us to simulate and predict future events, the emotions borne out of these events, plan for whether we want to head toward them or avoid them, and take appropriate actions to steer our future. In essence, prospection is a key part of what makes us human and is closely intertwined with the unlimited possibilities of the future.
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We assessed the underlying mechanisms through which career motivational conflict was related to career volitional action in young adults. We tested a model in which career motivational conflict (parent-child career incongruence and career goal progress discrepancy) was related to reduced career volitional actions (career decision self-efficacy and career engagement) via self-regulatory failure (ego depletion in reference to talking to parents about their careers or thinking about their careers). Participants were 260 young adults (75.8% female; M age = 19.89 years) enrolled at a large, multi-campus university in South-East Queensland, Australia. We confirmed greater career-related motivational conflict, in both forms, was associated with lower volitional actions. Furthermore, self-referenced depletion explained the relationships between career goal progress discrepancy and poorer career decision self-efficacy and less career engagement. These findings have implications for how counsellors might assist young people to improve their career volitional actions by reducing the effects of career motivational conflict.
Article
This study investigated whether, and under what conditions, self‐control demands (SCD) are associated with less interpersonal justice (politeness or respect) and more interpersonal injustice (degrading or inappropriate remarks) behavior. Drawing from extended self‐control theory and integrating the motivation literature, we posit that (1) SCD have a stronger effect on actors' attempts not to be unfair than on their attempts to be fair because avoidance behavior is more demanding than approach behavior. Further, extended self‐control theory posits that people control themselves more effectively when they are personally motivated and external standards are present. Accordingly, we further posit that (2) emphasizing self‐transcendence values (i.e., the stable motivational goal to consider others' welfare) and (3) acting in strong situations (i.e., the presence of external normative standards on appropriate behavior) buffer the SCD effect. Results from two realistic simulation studies show that SCD were related to actors' interpersonal justice and injustice behavior. Across both studies, different results patterns, and relationships with the other variables for justice and injustice emerged. Thus, although the stronger effect of SCD on injustice (vs. justice) was not generally supported, the finding suggests that adhering to and not violating interpersonal justice rules are indeed different from one another. In addition, SCD were less detrimental among actors with higher self‐transcendence values and when actors operated in strong (vs. weak) contexts. A three‐way interaction showed that especially among actors with low self‐transcendence values, who act in weak contexts, SCD provoked injustice. We discuss theoretical and practical implications.
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Exerting effort in a first task can impair self‐control performance in a subsequent task. Hundreds of studies have examined this ego depletion effect, but the underlying mechanisms are still unknown. By contrasting the two most prominent models, the strength model and the process model, the following question takes centre stage: Do participants fail to exert self‐control because they run short of an unspecified resource or because they lack the motivation to engage in the subsequent task? We contrasted competing predictions (N = 560) from these two models by manipulating monetary incentives to be donated to charity in the first of two tasks. We found evidence of the standard ego depletion effect—self‐control performance was impaired after a high‐ versus a low‐demand task in the no‐incentive conditions. Incentives had an unexpected effect: Whereas participants in the incentive conditions showed higher intrinsic, autonomous motivation, they did not exert greater effort. This unexpected finding limited the applicability of our registered predictions; thus, we opted to test updated predictions. We discuss the theoretical implications of our understanding of the processes underlying ego depletion effects and their meaning for the ongoing debate about replicability and robustness.
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This book is unique among modern contributions to behavioral economics in presenting a grand synthesis between the kind of behavioral economics popularized by Richard Thaler, earlier approaches such as those of the 1978 Nobel Laureate Herbert Simon, evolutionary psychology, and evolutionary economics from Veblen and Marshall through to neo-Schumpeterian thinking. The synthesis employs a complex adaptive systems approach to how people think, the lifestyles they build, and how new production technologies and products are gradually adopted and produce changes. Using a huge range of examples, it takes behavioral economics from its recent focus on 'nudging' consumers, to the behavior of firms and other organizations, the challenges of achieving structural change and transitioning to environmentally sustainable lifestyles, and instability of the financial system. This book will be of great interest to academics and graduate students who seek a broader view of what behavioral economics is and what it might become.
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Good self-control is a crucial factor in the distribution of life outcomes, ranging from success at school and work, to good mental and physical health, and to satisfying romantic relationships. While in the last decades psychologists have learned much about this all-important trait, both social theory and politics have not caught up. Many academics and policymakers still seem to believe that everybody has unlimited capacity for self-control and that maintaining discipline is purely a matter of volition. This book shows that such beliefs are fundamentally mistaken. It presents the state-of-the-art in research on self-control, explains why this trait has been largely overlooked, and sets out the profound implications of this psychological research for moral responsibility, distributive justice and public policy. It shows that the growing emphasis in politics on 'personal responsibility' is deeply problematic, and outlines alternatives more in accord with human psychology.
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This study explored whether ego depletion mediated the relationship between illegitimate tasks and nurses' work engagement. We recruited 760 Chinese nurses at three tertiary hospitals and a general hospital to complete a survey on illegitimate tasks, ego depletion, and work engagement. The results show that illegitimate tasks were negatively related to work engagement and that ego depletion partially mediated this relationship. These results provide a theoretical reference to improve nurses' work engagement through avoiding illegitimate tasks.
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Purpose The paper aims to evaluate how progressive stakeholders view the adoption of contemporary techniques such as virtual technology in driving sustainable quality in an emerging economy context. Design/methodology/approach The authors adopted a systematic literature review to develop the theoretical framework for virtual reality (VR) technology adoption in sustaining quality in agriculture production. The framework was refined after discussion with a panel of academic experts. The refined theoretical framework was further empirically validated using Partial Least Square Structure Equation Modelling. Findings The study focuses on the future perspective of the perception for progressive farming with the adoption of VR technology in an emerging economy. The data were collected from the stakeholders (farmers, collectives, cooperative, etc.), for their future perspectives for the adoption of VR technology and sustainable quality agriculture production. The study may help build up VR technology in emerging economies which may take years to be established. Research limitations/implications The perception of the future perspective of VR technology study conducted has limitations. The findings are well established on technology adoption; however, the technology used will take many extra years to find its application in the agriculture sector. The study offers insightful theoretical, managerial and policy implications for sustainable quality in agriculture production through the adoption of virtual reality (VR) technology. The authors found very few works that focused on VR technology adoption. Originality/value The study discusses VR, which has an impact on sustaining the quality of agriculture production. The study has notable managerial and policy implications that suggest the future perspective for VR technology in agriculture production. The study is an unexplored area that needs research to capture future perspectives.
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Purpose: The aim of the study was to translate and adapt the Self-Regulatory Fatigue Scale (SRF-18) into Turkish and also demonstrate its reliability and validity in young adults. Design and Methods: A total of 181 participants completed SRF-18, Life Orientation Test-Revised (LOT-R), Brief Self-Control Scale (BSCS), and Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI). One week later 30 participants refilled SRF-18. Findings: The internal consistency of SRF-18 was good (α=0.710). The ICC value of the SRF-18 total score was 0.608. SRF-18 was strongly related with MFI and LOT-R (r1=-0.632, r2=0.557, p<0.001). Besides, there was a moderate relationship between SRF-18 and BSCS (r=0.439, p<0.001). In addition, SRF-18 had a 3-factor structure. Practice Implications: The Turkish version of the SRF-18 was proven to be a valid and reliable tool.
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Even though planning is generally helpful in goal pursuit, people do not always choose to plan. The inclination to plan might depend on whether we focus on what we seek to approach or what we seek to avoid. In two pre-registered experiments, we tested the relative effect of approach versus avoidance motivation on willingness to plan (total N=1349). With outcome framing as the experimental manipulation, participants were randomly assigned to either an approach or an avoidance condition, and then indicated their willingness to plan their study activities before an upcoming exam. Contrary to predictions, the results showed no significant difference in willingness to plan depending on condition in either experiment. There was mixed support for the importance of anticipated affect and perceived distance as process mechanisms: While Experiment 1 showed that participants who experienced the day of the exam as closer in time were more willing to plan their study preparations (regardless of condition), we found no mediational effects through perceived distance or anticipated affect. In Experiment 2, anticipated affect intensity mediated the association between motivation and willingness to plan, where participants induced to approach motivation predicted greater intensity of anticipated affect upon achieving their goals, and thus were more willing to plan, than participants induced to avoidance motivation. However, such mediational effects without a main effect remain ambiguous and should be interpreted with caution. Seen as a whole, the results suggest that the effect of different motivation types on the willingness to plan may be different than previously thought: They may not influence this aspect of goal striving.
The types and amount of visual and textual information differently influence consumers' responses towards experiential products. This research empirically examines the impact of visual information on consumers' online review behaviors by analyzing online data collected from hotel booking website Agoda.com. The empirical results indicate that visual information has a positive impact on consumers’ responses, which are measured through online review ratings and sentiment. This result is observed only when various types of visual information such as, photos of rooms, facilities, views, and restaurants, are provided. However, consumer responses tend to be negative as the number of photos, regardless of type, increases.
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The aim of the paper is highlighting problems associated with attempts to replicate well-known psychological experiments on the example of the effect of depletion of self-regulation resource, or “ego depletion” (Roy Baumeister). The publication of this effect in 1998 was followed by a long and rich history of its checking in varied modifications, attempts to investigate its neurophysiological basis, metaanalyses which provided incoherent results and alternative explanations. The discussions around this effect became especially active in the last five years, when several attempts were published to replicate the effect by joint efforts of a number of independent laboratories; the results were again contradictory. The limitations of the possibility of exact replications are shown on the example of these attempts. The replications, the results of which fail to reproduce the results of the initial study are not to be viewed without reservations as the proofs of invalidation of the initial study, even if they are performed methodologically faultlessly. At the same time, their value consists in the opportunities of considering additional conditions which were initially left without proper consideration, as well as in the emerging alternative explanations.
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Even though planning is generally helpful in goal pursuit, people do not always choose to plan. The inclination to plan might depend on whether we focus on what we seek to approach or what we seek to avoid. In two pre-registered experiments, we tested the relative effect of approach versus avoidance motivation on willingness to plan (total N=1349). With outcome framing as the experimental manipulation, participants were randomly assigned to either an approach or an avoidance condition, and then indicated their willingness to plan their study activities before an upcoming exam. Contrary to predictions, the results showed no significant difference in willingness to plan depending on condition in either experiment. There was mixed support for the importance of anticipated affect and perceived distance as process mechanisms: While Experiment 1 showed that participants who experienced the day of the exam as closer in time were more willing to plan their study preparations (regardless of condition), we found no mediational effects through perceived distance or anticipated affect. In Experiment 2, anticipated affect intensity mediated the association between motivation and willingness to plan, where participants induced to approach motivation predicted greater intensity of anticipated affect upon achieving their goals, and thus were more willing to plan than participants induced to avoidance motivation. However, such mediation effects without a main effect remain ambiguous and should be interpreted with caution. Seen as a whole, the results suggest that the effect of different motivation types on the willingness to plan may be different than previously thought: They may not influence this aspect of goal striving.
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People may be more or less vulnerable to changes in self-control across the day, depending on whether they believe willpower is more or less limited. Limited willpower beliefs might be associated with steeper decreases in self-control across the day, which may result in less goal-consistent behaviour by the evening. Community members with health goals (Sample 1; N = 160; 1814 observations) and students (Sample 2; N = 162; 10,581 observations) completed five surveys per day for one to three weeks, reporting on their recent physical activity, snacking, subjective state, and health intentions. In both samples, more limited willpower beliefs were associated with less low- and moderate-intensity physical activity, particularly later in the day. Limited willpower beliefs were also associated with more snacking in the evenings (Sample 1) or overall (Sample 2). These behavioural patterns were mediated by differential changes in self-efficacy and intentions across the course of the day (in Sample 1), and the above patterns of low- and moderate-physical intensity held after controlling for related individual differences, including trait self-control and chronotype (in Sample 2). Overall, more limited willpower theories were associated with decreasing goal-consistent behaviour as the day progressed, alongside decreasing self-efficacy and weakening health-goal intentions.
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Place attachment has been identified as a key construct that can explain pro-environmental behaviour. However, the precise strength of its effect remains undocumented. The aim of this article is to quantify the effects of place attachment on pro-environmental behaviour by means of a meta-analysis and to examine the contextual factors that may explain the variations in the effect sizes reported in previous research. Our results show that, first, the overall effect of place attachment on pro-environmental behaviour is positive, and the strength of the effect is moderate. Second, the effect is larger in collectivist vs. individualist cultures. Third, the effect also depends on the type of place user and is larger for tourists vs. local residents. Fourth, the general measure of place attachment produces a larger effect size than measures focusing on one of its dimensions. Finally, place-specific measures of pro-environmental behaviour produce a larger effect size than non-place-specific ones.
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Two preregistered experiments with more than 1,000 participants in total found evidence of an ego depletion effect on attention control. Participants who exercised self-control on a writing task went on to make more errors on Stroop tasks (Experiment 1) and the Attention Network Test (Experiment 2) compared with participants who did not exercise self-control on the initial writing task. The depletion effect on response times was nonsignificant. A mini meta-analysis of the two experiments found a small (d = 0.20) but significant increase in error rates in the controlled writing condition, thereby providing evidence of poorer attention control under ego depletion. These results, which emerged from preregistered experiments in large samples of participants, represent some of the most rigorous evidence yet of the ego depletion effect. Postprint available here: https://psyarxiv.com/pgny3/
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The strength model of self-regulation uses a muscle analogy to explain patterns of ego depletion, conservation of willpower, and improved performance after frequent exercise. Our 2007 overview of the literature has been well cited, presumably because of the phenomenon’s importance to theories of selfhood and a wide assortment of applied contexts, including problem behaviors. Some researchers have put forward rival theoretical accounts, and others have questioned the existence of the phenomenon. The weight of evidence continues to support the usefulness of the strength model, albeit amid continuing updates and revisions.
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The ego depletion effect has been examined by over 300 independent studies during the past two decades. Despite its pervasive influence, recently this effect has been severely challenged and asserted to be a fake. Based on an up-to-date meta-analysis that examined the effectiveness of each frequently used depleting task, we preregistered the current experiment with the aim to examine whether there would be an ego depletion effect when the Stroop task is used as the depleting task. The results demonstrated a significant ego depletion effect. The current research highlights the importance of the depleting task’s effectiveness. That is to say, the “ego” could be “depleted,” but only when initial exertion is “depleting.” 2017 Hogrefe Publishing
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Abstract The ego depletion effect is one of the most famous phenomena in social psychology. A recent meta-analysis showed that after accounting for small-studies effects by using a newly developed method called PET-PEESE, the ego depletion effect was indistinguishable from zero. However, it is too early to draw such rushing conclusion because of the inappropriate usage of PET-PEESE. The current paper reported a stricter and updated meta-analysis of ego depletion by carefully inspecting problems in the previous meta-analysis, including new studies not covered by it, and testing the effectiveness of each depleting task. The results suggest attention video should be an ineffective depleting task whereas emotion video should be the most effective one. Future studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of each depletion task revealed by the current meta-analysis.
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The limited resource model states that self-control is governed by a relatively finite set of inner resources on which people draw when exerting willpower. Once self-control resources have been used up or depleted, they are less available for other self-control tasks, leading to a decrement in subsequent self-control success. The depletion effect has been studied for over 20 years, tested or extended in more than 600 studies, and supported in an independent meta-analysis (Hagger et al., 2010). Meta-analyses are supposed to reduce bias in literature reviews. Carter et al.’s (2015) meta-analysis, by contrast, included a series of questionable decisions involving sampling, methods, and data analysis. We provide quantitative analyses of key sampling issues: exclusion of many of the best depletion studies based on idiosyncratic criteria and the emphasis on mini meta-analyses with low statistical power as opposed to the overall depletion effect. We discuss two key methodological issues: failure to code for research quality, and the quantitative impact of weak studies by novice researchers. We discuss two key data analysis issues: questionable interpretation of the results of trim and fill and Funnel Plot Asymmetry test procedures, and the use and misinterpretation of the untested Precision Effect Test and Precision Effect Estimate with Standard Error (PEESE) procedures. Despite these serious problems, the Carter et al. (2015) meta-analysis results actually indicate that there is a real depletion effect – contrary to their title.
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The ego depletion effect has not been replicated by a recent project including 23 laboratories (N = 2141) in both English-speaking countries and non-English speaking countries (Hagger and Chatzisarantis, 2016). Although it provides seemingly robust evidence casting doubt on the existence of ego depletion, cautious attention should be paid to the effectiveness of the depleting task (i.e., e-crossing task) used in the replicating project.
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Good self-control has been linked to adaptive outcomes such as better health, cohesive personal relationships, success in the workplace and at school, and less susceptibility to crime and addictions. In contrast, self-control failure is linked to maladaptive outcomes. Understanding the mechanisms by which self-control predicts behavior may assist in promoting better regulation and outcomes. A popular approach to understanding self-control is the strength or resource depletion model. Self-control is conceptualized as a limited resource that becomes depleted after a period of exertion resulting in self-control failure. The model has typically been tested using a sequential-task experimental paradigm, in which people completing an initial self-control task have reduced self-control capacity and poorer performance on a subsequent task, a state known as ego depletion. Although a meta-analysis of ego-depletion experiments found a medium-sized effect, subsequent meta-analyses have questioned the size and existence of the effect and identified instances of possible bias. The analyses served as a catalyst for the current Registered Replication Report of the ego-depletion effect. Multiple laboratories (k = 23, total N = 2,141) conducted replications of a standardized ego-depletion protocol based on a sequential-task paradigm by Sripada et al. Meta-analysis of the studies revealed that the size of the ego-depletion effect was small with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) that encompassed zero (d = 0.04, 95% CI [−0.07, 0.15]. We discuss implications of the findings for the ego-depletion effect and the resource depletion model of self-control.
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Self-control is defined as individuals' capacity to alter, modify, change, or override impulses, desires, and habitual responses (Baumeister, 2002; Muraven et al., 2005). Capacity for self-control is important and adaptive. Without it, we would be “slaves” to habits and impulses and unable to engage in sustained, goal-directed behavior. Loss of self-control has been shown to be related to numerous maladaptive health, social, and economic outcomes (Baumeister, 2002). Contemporary theories indicate that human capacity for self-control is limited (Baumeister et al., 1998). According to the strength model of self-control, performance on tasks requiring self-control draws energy from a general, unitary, and limited “internal” resource (Baumeister et al., 1998; Muraven et al., 1998). Because this resource is finite, the model predicts that engaging in tasks requiring self-control would lead to the depletion of the resource and reduced performance on subsequent self-control tasks. The state of self-control resource depletion is termed “ego-depletion.”
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This article contains the argument that the human ability to travel mentally in time constitutes a discontinuity between ourselves and other animals. Mental time travel comprises the mental reconstruction of personal events from the past (episodic memory) and the mental construction of possible events in the future. It is not an isolated module, but depends on the sophistication of other cognitive capacities, including self-awareness, meta-representation, mental attribution, understanding the perception-knowledge relationship, and the ability to dissociate imagined mental states from one's present mental state. These capacities are also important aspects of so-called theory of mind, and they appear to mature in children at around age 4. Furthermore, mental time travel is generative, involving the combination and recombination of familiar elements, and in this respect may have been a precursor to language. Current evidence, although indirect or based on anecdote rather than on systematic study, suggests that nonhuman animals, including the great apes, are confined to a "present" that is limited by their current drive states. In contrast, mental time travel by humans is relatively unconstrained and allows a more rapid and flexible adaptation to complex, changing environments than is afforded by instincts or conventional learning. Past and future events loom large in much of human thinking, giving rise to cultural, religious, and scientific concepts about origins, destiny, and time itself.
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Forecasting tournaments are level-playing-field competitions that reveal which individuals, teams, or algorithms generate more accurate probability estimates on which topics. This article describes a massive geopolitical tournament that tested clashing views on the feasibility of improving judgmental accuracy and on the best methods of doing so. The tournament’s winner, the Good Judgment Project, outperformed the simple average of the crowd by (a) designing new forms of cognitive-debiasing training, (b) incentivizing rigorous thinking in teams and prediction markets, (c) skimming top talent into elite collaborative teams of “super forecasters,” and (d) fine-tuning aggregation algorithms for distilling greater wisdom from crowds. Tournaments have the potential to open closed minds and increase assertion-to-evidence ratios in polarized scientific and policy debates.
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This is an important book. It addresses the question: Are human beings systematically irrational? They would be so if they were "hard-wired" to reason badly on certain types of tasks. Even if they could discover on reflection that the reasoning was bad, the unreflective tendency to reason badly would be a systematic irrationality. According to Stanovich, psychologists have shown that "people assess probabilities incorrectly, they display confirmation bias, they test hypotheses inefficiently, they violate the axioms of utility theory, they do not properly calibrate degrees of belief, they overproject their own opinions onto others, they allow prior knowledge to become implicated in deductive reasoning, they systematically underweight information about nonoccurrence when evaluat-ing covariation, and they display numerous other information-processing bi-ases." (1-2) Such cognitive psychologists as Nisbett and Ross (1980) and Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky (1982) interpret this apparently dismal typical performance as evidence of hard-wired "heuristics and biases" (whose pres-ence can be given an evolutionary explanation) which are sometimes irra-tional. Critics have proposed four alternative explanations. (1) Are the deficiencies just unsystematic performance errors of basically competent subjects due to such temporary psychological malfunctions as in-attention or memory lapses? Stanovich and West (1998a) administered to the same subjects four types of reasoning tests: syllogistic reasoning, selection, statistical reasoning, argument evaluation. They assumed that, ifmistakes were random performance errors, there would no significant correlation between scores on the different types of tests. In fact, they found modest but statisti-cally very significant correlations (at the .001 level) between all pairs of scores except those on statistical reasoning and argument evaluation. Hence, they concluded, not all mistakes on such reasoning tasks are random performance errors.
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Few models of self-control have generated as much scientific interest as has the limited strength model. One of the entailments of this model, the depletion effect, is the expectation that acts of self-control will be less effective when they follow prior acts of self-control. Results from a previous meta-analysis concluded that the depletion effect is robust and medium in magnitude (d = 0.62). However, when we applied methods for estimating and correcting for small-study effects (such as publication bias) to the data from this previous meta-analysis effort, we found very strong signals of publication bias, along with an indication that the depletion effect is actually no different from zero. We conclude that until greater certainty about the size of the depletion effect can be established, circumspection about the existence of this phenomenon is warranted, and that rather than elaborating on the model, research efforts should focus on establishing whether the basic effect exists. We argue that the evidence for the depletion effect is a useful case study for illustrating the dangers of small-study effects as well as some of the possible tools for mitigating their influence in psychological science.
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Researchers have used terms such as unrealistic optimism and optimistic bias to refer to concepts that are similar but not synonymous. Drawing from 3 decades of research, we discuss critically how researchers define unrealistic optimism, and we identify four types that reflect different measurement approaches: unrealistic absolute optimism at the individual and group levels and unrealistic comparative optimism at the individual and group levels. In addition, we discuss methodological criticisms leveled against research on unrealistic optimism and note that the criticisms are primarily relevant to only one type: the group form of unrealistic comparative optimism. We further clarify how the criticisms are not nearly as problematic as they might seem, even for unrealistic comparative optimism. Finally, we note boundary conditions on the different types of unrealistic optimism and reflect on five broad questions that deserve further attention.
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According to the resource model of self-control, overriding one's predominant response tendencies consumes and temporarily depletes a limited inner resource. Over 100 experiments have lent support to this model of ego depletion by observing that acts of self-control at Time 1 reduce performance on subsequent, seemingly unrelated self-control tasks at Time 2. The time is now ripe, therefore, not only to broaden the scope of the model but to start gaining a precise, mechanistic account of it. Accordingly, in the current article, the authors probe the particular cognitive, affective, and motivational mechanics of self-control and its depletion, asking, "What is ego depletion?" This study proposes a process model of depletion, suggesting that exerting self-control at Time 1 causes temporary shifts in both motivation and attention that undermine self-control at Time 2. The article highlights evidence in support of this model but also highlights where evidence is lacking, thus providing a blueprint for future research. Though the process model of depletion may sacrifice the elegance of the resource metaphor, it paints a more precise picture of ego depletion and suggests several nuanced predictions for future research. © The Author(s) 2012.
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Models postulating 2 distinct processing modes have been proposed in several topic areas within social and cognitive psychology. We advance a new conceptual model of the 2 processing modes. The structural basis of the new model is the idea, supported by psychological and neuropsychological evidence, that humans possess 2 memory systems. One system slowly learns general regularities, whereas the other can quickly form representations of unique or novel events. Associative retrieval or pattern completion in the slow-learning system elicited by a salient cue constitutes the effortless processing mode. The second processing mode is more conscious and effortful; it involves the intentional retrieval of explicit, symbolically represented rulesfrom either memory system and their use to guide processing. After presenting our model, we review existing dual-process models in several areas, emphasizing their similar assumptions of a quick, effortless processing mode that rests on well-learned prior associations and a second, more effortful processing mode that involves rule-based inferences and is employed only when people have both cognitive capacity and motivation. New insights and implications of the model for several topic areas are outlined.
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Though human beings embody a unique ability for planned behavior, they also often act impulsively. This insight may be important for the study of self-control situations in which people are torn between their long-term goals to restrain behavior and their immediate impulses that promise hedonic fulfillment. In the present article, we outline a dual-systems perspective of impulse and self-control and suggest a framework for the prediction of self-control outcomes. This framework combines three elements that, considered jointly, may enable a more precise prediction of self-control outcomes than they do when studied in isolation: impulsive precursors of behavior, reflective precursors, and situational or dispositional boundary conditions. The theoretical and practical utility of such an approach is demonstrated by drawing on recent evidence from several domains of self-control such as eating, drinking, and sexual behavior. © 2009 Association for Psychological Science.
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Self-control is a central function of the self and an important key to success in life. The exertion of self-control appears to depend on a limited resource. Just as a muscle gets tired from exertion, acts of self-control cause short-term impairments (ego depletion) in subsequent self-control, even on unrelated tasks. Research has supported the strength model in the domains of eating, drinking, spending, sexuality, intelligent thought, making choices, and interpersonal behavior. Motivational or framing factors can temporarily block the deleterious effects of being in a state of ego depletion. Blood glucose is an important component of the energy.
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Planning has pronounced effects on consumer behavior and intertemporal choice. We develop a six-item scale measuring individual differences in propensity to plan that can be adapted to different domains and used to compare planning across domains and time horizons. Adaptations tailored to planning time and money in the short run and long run each show strong evidence of reliability and validity. We find that propensity to plan is moderately domain-specific. Scale measures and actual planning measures show that for time, people plan much more for the short run than the long run; for money, short- and long-run planning differ less. Time and money adaptations of our scale exhibit sharp differences in nomological correlates; short-run and long-run adaptations differ less. Domain-specific adaptations predict frequency of actual planning in their respective domains. A "very long-run" money adaptation predicts FICO credit scores; low planners thus face materially higher cost of credit. (c) 2009 by JOURNAL OF CONSUMER RESEARCH, Inc..
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In the present study, we used experience sampling to measure desires and desire regulation in everyday life. Our analysis included data from 205 adults, who furnished a total of 7,827 reports of their desires over the course of a week. Across various desire domains, results revealed substantial differences in desire frequency and strength, the degree of conflict between desires and other goals, and the likelihood of resisting desire and the success of this resistance. Desires for sleep and sex were experienced most intensively, whereas desires for tobacco and alcohol had the lowest average strength, despite the fact that these substances are thought of as addictive. Desires for leisure and sleep conflicted the most with other goals, and desires for media use and work brought about the most self-control failure. In addition, we observed support for a limited-resource model of self-control employing a novel operationalization of cumulative resource depletion: The frequency and recency of engaging in prior self-control negatively predicted people's success at resisting subsequent desires on the same day.
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How often and how strongly do people experience desires, to what extent do their desires conflict with other goals, and how often and successfully do people exercise self-control to resist their desires? To investigate desire and attempts to control desire in everyday life, we conducted a large-scale experience sampling study based on a conceptual framework integrating desire strength, conflict, resistance (use of self-control), and behavior enactment. A sample of 205 adults wore beepers for a week. They furnished 7,827 reports of desire episodes and completed personality measures of behavioral inhibition system/behavior activation system (BIS/BAS) sensitivity, trait self-control, perfectionism, and narcissistic entitlement. Results suggest that desires are frequent, variable in intensity, and largely unproblematic. Those urges that do conflict with other goals tend to elicit resistance, with uneven success. Desire strength, conflict, resistance, and self-regulatory success were moderated in multiple ways by personality variables as well as by situational and interpersonal factors such as alcohol consumption, the mere presence of others, and the presence of others who already had enacted the desire in question. Whereas personality generally had a stronger impact on the dimensions of desire that emerged early in its course (desire strength and conflict), situational factors showed relatively more influence on components later in the process (resistance and behavior enactment). In total, these findings offer a novel and detailed perspective on the nature of everyday desires and associated self-regulatory successes and failures.
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Given assertions of the theoretical, empirical, and practical importance of self-control, this meta-analytic study sought to review evidence concerning the relationship between dispositional self-control and behavior. The authors provide a brief overview over prominent theories of self-control, identifying implicit assumptions surrounding the effects of self-control that warrant empirical testing. They report the results of a meta-analysis of 102 studies (total N = 32,648) investigating the behavioral effects of self-control using the Self-Control Scale, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, and the Low Self-Control Scale. A small to medium positive effect of self-control on behavior was found for the three scales. Only the Self-Control Scale allowed for a fine-grained analysis of conceptual moderators of the self-control behavior relation. Specifically, self-control (measured by the Self-Control Scale) related similarly to the performance of desired behaviors and the inhibition of undesired behaviors, but its effects varied dramatically across life domains (e.g., achievement, adjustment). In addition, the associations between self-control and behavior were significantly stronger for automatic (as compared to controlled) behavior and for imagined (as compared to actual) behavior.
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Previous research has established conscientiousness as a predictor of longevity (H. S. Friedman et al., 1993; L. R. Martin & H. S. Friedman, 2000). To better understand this relationship, the authors conducted a meta-analysis of conscientiousness-related traits and the leading behavioral contributors to mortality in the United States (tobacco use, diet and activity patterns, excessive alcohol use, violence, risky sexual behavior, risky driving, suicide, and drug use). Data sources were located by combining conscientiousness-related terms and relevant health-related behavior terms in database searches as well as by retrieving dissertations and requesting unpublished data from electronic mailing lists. The resulting database contained 194 studies that were quantitatively synthesized. Results showed that conscientiousness-related traits were negatively related to all risky health-related behaviors and positively related to all beneficial health-related behaviors. This study demonstrates the importance of conscientiousness' contribution to the health process through its relationship to health-related behaviors.
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Policy-makers are considering large-scale programs aimed at self-control to improve citizens' health and wealth and reduce crime. Experimental and economic studies suggest such programs could reap benefits. Yet, is self-control important for the health, wealth, and public safety of the population? Following a cohort of 1,000 children from birth to the age of 32 y, we show that childhood self-control predicts physical health, substance dependence, personal finances, and criminal offending outcomes, following a gradient of self-control. Effects of children's self-control could be disentangled from their intelligence and social class as well as from mistakes they made as adolescents. In another cohort of 500 sibling-pairs, the sibling with lower self-control had poorer outcomes, despite shared family background. Interventions addressing self-control might reduce a panoply of societal costs, save taxpayers money, and promote prosperity.
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According to the strength model, self-control is a finite resource that determines capacity for effortful control over dominant responses and, once expended, leads to impaired self-control task performance, known as ego depletion. A meta-analysis of 83 studies tested the effect of ego depletion on task performance and related outcomes, alternative explanations and moderators of the effect, and additional strength model hypotheses. Results revealed a significant effect of ego depletion on self-control task performance. Significant effect sizes were found for ego depletion on effort, perceived difficulty, negative affect, subjective fatigue, and blood glucose levels. Small, nonsignificant effects were found for positive affect and self-efficacy. Moderator analyses indicated minimal variation in the effect across sphere of depleting and dependent task, frequently used depleting and dependent tasks, presentation of tasks as single or separate experiments, type of dependent measure and control condition task, and source laboratory. The effect size was moderated by depleting task duration, task presentation by the same or different experimenters, intertask interim period, dependent task complexity, and use of dependent tasks in the choice and volition and cognitive spheres. Motivational incentives, training on self-control tasks, and glucose supplementation promoted better self-control in ego-depleted samples. Expecting further acts of self-control exacerbated the effect. Findings provide preliminary support for the ego-depletion effect and strength model hypotheses. Support for motivation and fatigue as alternative explanations for ego depletion indicate a need to integrate the strength model with other theories. Findings provide impetus for future investigation testing additional hypotheses and mechanisms of the ego-depletion effect.
Article
People can time travel cognitively because they can remember events having occurred at particular times in the past (episodic memory) and because they can anticipate new events occurring at particular times in the future. The ability to assign points in time to events arises from human development of a sense of time and its accompanying time-keeping technology. The hypothesis is advanced that animals are cognitively stuck in time; that is, they have no sense of time and thus have no episodic memory or ability to anticipate long-range future events. Research on animals' abilities to detect time of day, track short time intervals, remember the order of a sequence of events, and anticipate future events are considered, and it is concluded that the stuck-in-time hypothesis is largely supported by the current evidence.
Book
How do people decide whether to sacrifice now for a future reward or to enjoy themselves in the present? Do the future gains of putting money in a pension fund outweigh going to Hawaii for New Year's Eve? Why does a person's self-discipline one day often give way to impulsive behavior the next? Time and Decision takes up these questions with a comprehensive collection of new research on intertemporal choice, examining how people face the problem of deciding over time. Economists approach intertemporal choice by means of a model in which people discount the value of future events at a constant rate. A vacation two years from now is worth less to most people than a vacation next week. Psychologists, on the other hand, have focused on the cognitive and emotional underpinnings of intertemporal choice. Time and Decision draws from both disciplinary approaches to provide a comprehensive picture of the various layers of choice involved. Shane Frederick, George Loewenstein, and Ted O'Donoghue introduce the volume with an overview of the research on time discounting and focus on how people actually discount the future compared to the standard economic model. Alex Kacelnik discusses the crucial role that the ability to delay gratification must have played in evolution. Walter Mischel and colleagues review classic research showing that four year olds who are able to delay gratification subsequently grow up to perform better in college than their counterparts who chose instant gratification. The book also delves into the neurobiology of patience, examining the brain structures involved in the ability to withstand an impulse. Turning to the issue of self-control, Klaus Wertenbroch examines the relationship between consumption and available resources, showing, for example, how a high credit limit can lead people to overspend. Ted O'Donoghue and Matthew Rabin show how people's awareness of their self-control problems affects their decision-making. The final section of the book examines intertemporal choice with regard to health, drug addiction, dieting, marketing, savings, and public policy. All of us make important decisions every day-many of which profoundly affect the quality of our lives. Time and Decision provides a fascinating look at the complex factors involved in how and why we make our choices, so many of them short-sighted, and helps us understand more precisely this crucial human frailty.
Article
Significance In evolved species, resisting the temptation of immediate rewards is a critical ability for the achievement of long-term goals. This self-control ability was found to rely on the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC), which also is involved in executive control processes such as working memory or task switching. Here we show that self-control capacity can be altered in healthy humans at the time scale of a workday, by performing difficult executive control tasks. This fatigue effect manifested in choice impulsivity was linked to reduced excitability of the LPFC following its intensive utilization over the day. Our findings might have implications for designing management strategies that would prevent daylong cognitive work from biasing economic decisions.
Chapter
The strength model of self-regulation holds that self-regulation operates by consuming a limited energy resource, thereby producing a state called ego depletion in which volition is curtailed because of low energy. We present our research program on ego depletion as well as much relevant work contributed by others. Challenges to the theory have emphasized allocation rather than depletion of resources, research participant expectations and obligations, changes in motivation and attention, beliefs and implicit theories, perceptions about depletion and vicarious depletion, glucose anomalies, and feelings of autonomy. We conclude that the theory needs revision and updating to accommodate the new findings, and we indicate the requisite changes. Furthermore, we conclude that the strength model is much better able than the rival accounts to explain all available evidence. Most of the rival accounts are compatible with it and indeed work best by sustaining the assumption that self-regulation relies on a limited resource.
Article
In the present, the past is more knowable than the future-but people think far more about the future than the past. Both facts derive from the principle that the future can be changed whereas the past cannot. Our theory of pragmatic prospection holds that people think about the future so as to guide actions to bring about desirable outcomes. It proposes that thoughts about the future begin by imagining what one wants to happen, which is thus initially optimistic. A second stage of such prospective thinking maps out how to bring that about, and this stage is marked by consideration of obstacles, requisite steps, and other potential problems, and so it tends toward cautious realism and even pessimism. Pragmatic prospection presents a form of teleology, in which brains can anticipate possible future events and use those cognitions to guide behavior. Toward that end, it invokes meaning, consistent with evidence that thinking about the future is highly meaningful. Prospection often has narrative structure, involving a series of events in a temporal sequence linked together by meaning. Emotion is useful for evaluating different simulations of possible future events and plans. Prospection is socially learned and rests on socially constructed scaffolding for the future (e.g., future dates). Planning is perhaps the most common form of prospection, and it exemplifies all aspects of our theory (including pragmatic utility, meaning, teleological and narrative structure, and sociality). Bracing for bad news and defensive pessimism are strategies that inspire adaptive responses to feared outcomes. (PsycINFO Database Record
Chapter
This chapter provides an overview of research on choice preferences for delayed, larger versus immediate, smaller gratifications. In spite of the widespread recognition of the important role of delay of gratification in human affairs, previous experimental research on the topic has been limited. At the empirical level, extensive experimental work has been done on delay of reward in animals. Surprisingly, although voluntary delay behavior has been assumed to be a critical component of such concepts as “ego strength,” “impulse control,” and “internalization,” prior to the present research program relatively little systematic attention had been devoted to it in empirical work on human social behavior. The chapter presents, in greater detail, selected studies that focus on the role of cognitive processes during self-imposed delay. Many theorists have paid tribute abstractly to the importance of cognition for the phenomena of personality in general and for self-regulatory processes in particular. These tributes have been accompanied by some correlational research that explores, for example, the links between intelligence, self-control, cognitive styles, and other dispositional. The chapter offers a further theoretical analysis of the determinants of delay behavior.