Distracting the self: shifting attention prevents ego depletion

H.J.E.M. Alberts*, C. Martijn, F. Nievelstein, A.T.M. Jansen, N.K. de Vries

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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The present research tested predictions of the strength model of self-control and delay of gratification by examining the affects of initial self-control attempts and also attention on performance. Participants completed a series of two identical physical self-control tasks, namely holding lip a weight, under varying conditions. The results showed that performance decrements can be overcome by attentional strategies. When participants distracted themselves by performing a calculation task during the second self-control measurement, they (lid not show a decline in performance. In contrast, participants who did not distract themselves and those who instead focused oil their muscles while holding up the weight, performed significantly worse on the second measurement. Interestingly, the distraction task reduced regulatory performance when it was performed before the second measurement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-334
JournalSelf and Identity
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2008


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