Carrying on or giving in: The role of automatic processes in ego-depletion

H.J.E.M. Alberts*, C. Martijn, J. Greb, H. Merckelbach, N.K. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Downloads (Pure)


Research has shown that repeated exercise of self-control leads to impaired performance on subsequent self-control tasks, a phenomenon labelled ego depletion. The current research investigates the influence of automatic processes on self-control performance. Study 1 shows that activation of persistence leads to stable self-control performance and may help to overcome effects of ego depletion. Initially depleted participants kept their physical self-control performances constant when primed with persistence. If such a prime was absent, self-control performance of depleted participants decreased indicating ego depletion. Using a different manipulation, these findings were replicated in Study 2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)383-399
JournalBritish Journal of Social Psychology
Issue numberPt 2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2007

Cite this