Cookies?
Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

The bitter truth about sugar and willpower: the limited evidential value of the glucose model of ego depletion

Vadillo, Miguel A., Gold, Natalie and Osman, Magda (2016) The bitter truth about sugar and willpower: the limited evidential value of the glucose model of ego depletion. Psychological Science, 27 (9). 1207 - 1214. ISSN 0956-7976

[img] Text (Bitter-truth-about-glucose-and-willpower-Vadillo-et-al) - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (701kB)

Identification Number: 10.1177/0956797616654911

Abstract

The idea behind ego depletion is that willpower draws on a limited mental resource, so that engaging in an act of self-control impairs self-control in subsequent tasks. To present ego depletion as more than a convenient metaphor, some researchers have proposed that glucose is the limited resource that becomes depleted with self-control. However, there have been theoretical challenges to the proposed glucose mechanism, and the experiments that have tested it have found mixed results. We used a new meta-analytic tool, p-curve analysis, to examine the reliability of the evidence from these experiments. We found that the effect sizes reported in this literature are possibly influenced by publication or reporting bias and that, even within studies yielding significant results, the evidential value of this research is weak. In light of these results, and pending further evidence, researchers and policymakers should refrain from drawing any conclusions about the role of glucose in self-control.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/pss
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors
Divisions: CPNSS
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 19 Mar 2021 14:30
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 02:58
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/109256

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics