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Searching for the bottom of the ego well: failure to uncover ego depletion in Many Labs 3

Vadillo, Miguel A., Gold, Natalie and Osman, Magda (2018) Searching for the bottom of the ego well: failure to uncover ego depletion in Many Labs 3. Royal Society Open Science, 5 (8). ISSN 2054-5703

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Identification Number: 10.1098/rsos.180390

Abstract

According to a popular model of self-control, willpower depends on a limited resource that can be depleted when we perform a task demanding self-control. This theory has been put to the test in hundreds of experiments showing that completing a task that demands high self-control usually hinders performance in any secondary task that subsequently taxes self-control. Over the last 5 years, the reliability of the empirical evidence supporting this model has been questioned. In the present study, we reanalysed data from a large-scale study-Many Labs 3-to test whether performing a depleting task has any effect on a secondary task that also relies on self-control. Although we used a large sample of more than 2000 participants for our analyses, we did not find any significant evidence of ego depletion: persistence on an anagram-solving task (a typical measure of self-control) was not affected by previous completion of a Stroop task (a typical depleting task in this literature). Our results suggest that either ego depletion is not a real effect or, alternatively, persistence in anagram solving may not be an optimal measure to test it.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/journal/rsos
Additional Information: © 2018 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2021 12:18
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:58
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/109251

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