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Can implementation intentions help to overcome ego-depletion?

Webb, Thomas L. and Sheeran, Paschal (2003) Can implementation intentions help to overcome ego-depletion? Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39 (3). pp. 279-286. ISSN 0022-1031

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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 requires self-control. Two experiments tested whether forming implementation intentions could prevent ego-depletion and/or offset the effects of ego-depletion. Experiment 1found that participants who formed implementation intentions during an initial ego-depleting task subsequently showed greater persistence on an unsolvable puzzles task compared to participants who did not form implementation intentions. Experiment 2 found that among participants who had been ego-depleted during an initial task, forming implementation intentions improved subsequent performance on a Stroop task to the level exhibited by non-depleted controls. Thus, implementation intentions help to enhance people's ability to self-regulate their behavior.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Ego-depletion; Implementation intentions; Self-regulation; Stroop task
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Science (Sheffield) > Department of Psychology (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Dr Thomas Webb
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2010 08:41
Last Modified: 27 Apr 2010 08:41
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00527-9
Status: Published
Publisher: Elsevier
Identification Number: 10.1016/S0022-1031(02)00527-9
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/10754

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