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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 21;9(10):e109950. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0109950. eCollection 2014.

Failure to replicate depletion of self-control.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, Idaho State University, Pocatello, Idaho, United States of America.
  • 2The Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America; Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America.
  • 3Department of Public Health, Center for Obesity Research and Education, Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States of America.
  • 4The Weight Control and Diabetes Research Center, The Miriam Hospital, Providence, Rhode Island, United States of America.

Abstract

The limited resource or strength model of self-control posits that the use of self-regulatory resources leads to depletion and poorer performance on subsequent self-control tasks. We conducted four studies (two with community samples, two with young adult samples) utilizing a frequently used depletion procedure (crossing out letters protocol) and the two most frequently used dependent measures of self-control (handgrip perseverance and modified Stroop). In each study, participants completed a baseline self-control measure, a depletion or control task (randomized), and then the same measure of self-control a second time. There was no evidence for significant depletion effects in any of these four studies. The null results obtained in four attempts to replicate using strong methodological approaches may indicate that depletion has more limited effects than implied by prior publications. We encourage further efforts to replicate depletion (particularly among community samples) with full disclosure of positive and negative results.

PMID:
25333564
PMCID:
PMC4204816
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0109950
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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