Getting a grip on ourselves: Challenging expectancies about loss of energy after self-control

C. Martijn, P. Tenbült, H.L.G.J. Merckelbach, E.A.A. Dreezens, N.K. de Vries

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

74 Citations (Scopus)
341 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Research suggests that two, consecutive acts of self-control lead to impaired performance. This phenomenon is termed "ego depletion." It is assumed that an act of self-control consumes energy from some limited resource leaving less energy available for a subsequent act of self-control. Study 1 tested the alternative hypothesis that people's naive theory or expectancy of the consequences of self-control influences their performance on control-demanding tasks. Participants watched an upsetting video fragment and subsequently performed a physical exercise test demanding self-control. Participants who suppressed their emotional reactions to the video showed ego-depletion: Their performance at the physical test decreased. However, if their (implicit) expectation that self-control negatively influences subsequent performance was challenged, their performance increased. Study 2 showed the existence of a dominant expectation that self-control consumes energy. These results indicate that the occurrence of the ego depletion phenomenon is strongly influenced by expectancies or schemata about self-control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-446
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume20
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2003

Cite this

@article{6cb9bcaa64554382b355bf8e6238bde0,
title = "Getting a grip on ourselves: Challenging expectancies about loss of energy after self-control",
abstract = "Research suggests that two, consecutive acts of self-control lead to impaired performance. This phenomenon is termed {"}ego depletion.{"} It is assumed that an act of self-control consumes energy from some limited resource leaving less energy available for a subsequent act of self-control. Study 1 tested the alternative hypothesis that people's naive theory or expectancy of the consequences of self-control influences their performance on control-demanding tasks. Participants watched an upsetting video fragment and subsequently performed a physical exercise test demanding self-control. Participants who suppressed their emotional reactions to the video showed ego-depletion: Their performance at the physical test decreased. However, if their (implicit) expectation that self-control negatively influences subsequent performance was challenged, their performance increased. Study 2 showed the existence of a dominant expectation that self-control consumes energy. These results indicate that the occurrence of the ego depletion phenomenon is strongly influenced by expectancies or schemata about self-control.",
author = "C. Martijn and P. Tenb{\"u}lt and H.L.G.J. Merckelbach and E.A.A. Dreezens and {de Vries}, N.K.",
year = "2003",
month = "1",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1521/soco.20.6.441.22978",
language = "English",
volume = "20",
pages = "441--446",
journal = "Social Cognition",
issn = "0278-016X",
publisher = "Guilford Press",

}

Getting a grip on ourselves: Challenging expectancies about loss of energy after self-control. / Martijn, C.; Tenbült, P.; Merckelbach, H.L.G.J.; Dreezens, E.A.A.; de Vries, N.K.

In: Social Cognition, Vol. 20, 01.01.2003, p. 441-446.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Getting a grip on ourselves: Challenging expectancies about loss of energy after self-control

AU - Martijn, C.

AU - Tenbült, P.

AU - Merckelbach, H.L.G.J.

AU - Dreezens, E.A.A.

AU - de Vries, N.K.

PY - 2003/1/1

Y1 - 2003/1/1

N2 - Research suggests that two, consecutive acts of self-control lead to impaired performance. This phenomenon is termed "ego depletion." It is assumed that an act of self-control consumes energy from some limited resource leaving less energy available for a subsequent act of self-control. Study 1 tested the alternative hypothesis that people's naive theory or expectancy of the consequences of self-control influences their performance on control-demanding tasks. Participants watched an upsetting video fragment and subsequently performed a physical exercise test demanding self-control. Participants who suppressed their emotional reactions to the video showed ego-depletion: Their performance at the physical test decreased. However, if their (implicit) expectation that self-control negatively influences subsequent performance was challenged, their performance increased. Study 2 showed the existence of a dominant expectation that self-control consumes energy. These results indicate that the occurrence of the ego depletion phenomenon is strongly influenced by expectancies or schemata about self-control.

AB - Research suggests that two, consecutive acts of self-control lead to impaired performance. This phenomenon is termed "ego depletion." It is assumed that an act of self-control consumes energy from some limited resource leaving less energy available for a subsequent act of self-control. Study 1 tested the alternative hypothesis that people's naive theory or expectancy of the consequences of self-control influences their performance on control-demanding tasks. Participants watched an upsetting video fragment and subsequently performed a physical exercise test demanding self-control. Participants who suppressed their emotional reactions to the video showed ego-depletion: Their performance at the physical test decreased. However, if their (implicit) expectation that self-control negatively influences subsequent performance was challenged, their performance increased. Study 2 showed the existence of a dominant expectation that self-control consumes energy. These results indicate that the occurrence of the ego depletion phenomenon is strongly influenced by expectancies or schemata about self-control.

U2 - 10.1521/soco.20.6.441.22978

DO - 10.1521/soco.20.6.441.22978

M3 - Article

VL - 20

SP - 441

EP - 446

JO - Social Cognition

JF - Social Cognition

SN - 0278-016X

ER -