Ego Depletion—Is It All in Your Head?

  title={Ego Depletion—Is It All in Your Head?},
  author={Veronika Job and Carol S. Dweck and Gregory M. Walton},
  journal={Psychological Science},
  pages={1686 - 1693}
Much recent research suggests that willpower—the capacity to exert self-control—is a limited resource that is depleted after exertion. We propose that whether depletion takes place or not depends on a person’s belief about whether willpower is a limited resource. Study 1 found that individual differences in lay theories about willpower moderate ego-depletion effects: People who viewed the capacity for self-control as not limited did not show diminished self-control after a depleting experience… 
Implicit Theories About Willpower
People endorse different beliefs—implicit theories—about the nature of willpower. These beliefs affect their self-control on consecutive tasks in the laboratory as well as their goal striving and
Willpower and ego depletion: Useful constructs?
It is widely recognized that the ability to exert will and defy the temptation of short-term rewards in favor of long term goals has many significant implications and is predictive of increased
Implicit theories about willpower predict the activation of a rest goal following self-control exertion.
This research provides consistent support for a motivational shift toward rest after self-control exertion in people holding a limited-resource theory about willpower.
Evaluating the Strength Model and Willpower Beliefs Accounts of the Ego-Depletion Effect
The ego-depletion effect was originally found to be highly robust and has often been explained through the strength model of self-control. This model states that exerting self-control depletes a
What Is Ego Depletion? Toward a Mechanistic Revision of the Resource Model of Self-Control
  • M. Inzlicht, B. Schmeichel
  • Psychology, Medicine
    Perspectives on psychological science : a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
  • 2012
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.
Motivation, personal beliefs, and limited resources all contribute to self-control
What effects do motivation and beliefs have on self-control? We tested this question using a limited resource paradigm, which generally has found that people show poor self-control after prior
Ego-depletion 1 Ego-depletion: Theory and Evidence
Self-control all too often fails. Despite people‟s best intentions and considerable negative outcomes, people often find themselves at the losing end of resisting temptation, combating urges, and
Erratum to “ Motivation , personal beliefs , and limited resources all contribute to self-control ”
a r t i c l e i n f o What effects do motivation and beliefs have on self-control? We tested this question using a limited resource paradigm, which generally has found that people show poor
Searching for the bottom of the ego well: failure to uncover ego depletion in Many Labs 3
The present study reanalysed data from a large-scale study to test whether performing a depleting task has any effect on a secondary task that also relies on self-control and found no significant evidence of ego depletion.
A depleted mind feels inefficacious: Ego-depletion reduces self-efficacy to exert further self-control
Recent research has found that ego-depletion undermines self-control by motivating cognition that justifies conservation of mental resource. One potential cognitive mechanism is reduction of


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
Mechanisms of Self-Control Failure: Motivation and Limited Resources
It is suggested that depletion only affects performance on tasks that require self-control; tasks that are difficult but do not requireSelf-control are immune to the effects of depletion; depleted individuals may compensate for their lack of self- control resources when sufficiently motivated.
When perception is more than reality: the effects of perceived versus actual resource depletion on self-regulatory behavior.
Perceived regulatory depletion can impact subsequent task performance-and this impact can be independent of one's actual state of depletion.
Ego depletion: is the active self a limited resource?
The results suggest that the self's capacity for active volition is limited and that a range of seemingly different, unrelated acts share a common resource.
Can implementation intentions help to overcome ego-depletion?
Abstract Research on ego-depletion suggests that the ability to self-regulate one’s behavior is limited: Exerting self-control on an initial task reduces performance on a subsequent task that also
Self-Regulation, Ego Depletion, and Motivation
Motivation is underappr eciated in self-r egulation theories (as is tr ue in social personality psychology at large). This paper reviews the role of motivation in the context of the strength, or
Self-regulation and selective exposure: the impact of depleted self-regulation resources on confirmatory information processing.
Mediational analyses suggested that individuals with depleted self-regulation resources experienced increased levels of commitment to their own standpoint, which resulted in increased confirmatory information processing.
Running on empty: neural signals for self-control failure.
This study examined the neural processes underlying self-control failure by testing whether controlled, effortful behavior impairs subsequent attempts at control by depleting the neural system associated with conflict monitoring.
Stigma as Ego Depletion
The results suggest that (a) stigma is ego depleting and (b) coping with it can weaken the ability to control and regulate one's behaviors in domains unrelated to the stigma.
Restoring the self: Positive affect helps improve self-regulation following ego depletion
Previous work has shown that acts of self-regulation appear to deplete a psychological resource, resulting in poorer self-regulation subsequently. Four experiments using assorted manipulations and