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The idea of money counteracts ego depletion effects

Authors
Journal
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology
0022-1031
Publisher
Elsevier
Volume
48
Issue
4
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.jesp.2012.02.003
Keywords
  • Self-Control
  • Self-Regulation
  • Ego Depletion
  • Money
  • Priming

Abstract

Abstract Self-control draws upon a resource that is limited, such that acts of self-control deplete the resource, causing performance on subsequent acts of self-control to suffer. In this research, we demonstrate that activating the concept of money can buffer this ego depletion effect. Across two experiments using varied operationalizations of self-control, participants completed an initial task that depleted self-control resources or not, were then reminded of money or neutral concepts, and finally, completed a second task requiring self-control. In both experiments, among depleted participants, those reminded of money performed better on the second self-control task than those reminded of neutral concepts. Additional analyses in Experiment 2 suggest that this buffering effect was due to money reducing both the subjective difficulty and effort required on the second self-control task.

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