No evidence of the ego-depletion effect across task characteristics and individual differences: A pre-registered study.

Lurquin, J.H., Michaelson, L.E., Barker, J.E., Gustavson, D.E., Von Bastian, C. C., Carruth, N.P. and Miyake, A., 2016. No evidence of the ego-depletion effect across task characteristics and individual differences: A pre-registered study. PLoS ONE, 11 (2).

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DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147770


Ego-depletion, a psychological phenomenon in which participants are less able to engage in self-control after prior exertion of self-control, has become widely popular in the scientific community as well as in the media. However, considerable debate exists among researchers as to the nature of the ego-depletion effect, and growing evidence suggests the effect may not be as strong or robust as the extant literature suggests. We examined the robustness of the ego-depletion effect and aimed to maximize the likelihood of detecting the effect by using one of the most widely used depletion tasks (video-viewing attention control task) and by considering task characteristics and individual differences that potentially moderate the effect. We also sought to make our research plan transparent by pre-registering our hypotheses, procedure, and planned analyses prior to data collection. Contrary to the egodepletion hypothesis, participants in the depletion condition did not perform worse than control participants on the subsequent self-control task, even after considering moderator variables. These findings add to a growing body of evidence suggesting ego-depletion is not a reliable phenomenon, though more research is needed that uses large sample sizes, considers moderator variables, and pre-registers prior to data collection.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:© 2016 Lurquin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Group:Faculty of Science and Technology
ID Code:23800
Deposited By: Unnamed user with email symplectic@symplectic
Deposited On:09 Jun 2016 12:43
Last Modified:09 Jun 2016 12:43


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