An investigation into ego-depletion, social norms, identification, and their interactive effect on how people deal with interpersonal conflict

Chalk, Vanessa (2011). An investigation into ego-depletion, social norms, identification, and their interactive effect on how people deal with interpersonal conflict Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Chalk, Vanessa
Thesis Title An investigation into ego-depletion, social norms, identification, and their interactive effect on how people deal with interpersonal conflict
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2011-10-12
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Dr Winifred Louis
Total pages 97
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Previous research has shown that ego-depletion (i.e., temporarily lowered self-control) leads to an increase in aggressive responses to provocation. The present study aimed to investigate how ego-depletion may interact with social norms for dealing with conflict, and group identification, to affect how people choose to respond to interpersonal conflict. A sample of 132 university students participated in the study which utilised a 2 by 3 between groups design. Half of the participants completed a task to induce a state of ego-depletion, whilst the remaining participants completed a control task. Participants were then assigned to one of three norm conditions, in which they were told that Australians typically use an accommodating style of conflict management, a confrontational style of conflict management, or a control condition, in which they were not given a conflict management norm. Participants‟ levels of identification with Australia were then measured. Following this, participants read a series of conflict scenario vignettes in which they had to report how likely they would be to feel angry or intimidated, and how likely they would be to respond to the conflict with aggression or avoidance. For both aggressive and avoidant behaviour responses, significant ego-depletion times norm interactions were found. The results indicate that being in a state of ego-depletion does not necessarily make you more aggressive, but more likely to act in a way that is in keeping with the social norm. Mixed results in regards to the role of identification with Australia were found. Interpretations and implications are discussed.
Keyword Ego depletion
Social norms
Response to provocation

 
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