Good willpower hunting: Investigating the effects of identity salience as a moderator of ego depletion

Eldridge, Elizabeth (2013). Good willpower hunting: Investigating the effects of identity salience as a moderator of ego depletion Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Eldridge, Elizabeth
Thesis Title Good willpower hunting: Investigating the effects of identity salience as a moderator of ego depletion
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2013-10-09
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Katharine Greenway
Total pages 92
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary Ego depletion (i.e., temporarily lowered self-control) can be overcome by several psychological interventions, including increasing self-awareness. This suggests that focusing on one’s personal identity may reduce the effect of ego depletion. Other literature shows that social identities—the sense of self that people derive from a group membership—provide people with a motivational resource, which suggests that focusing on one’s social identity may reduce the effect of ego depletion. The present thesis sought to investigate the moderating effect of identity salience on ego depletion. One hundred and twelve university students were randomly assigned to a 2 (Ego depletion: depletion vs. no depletion) x 2 (Identity salience: personal vs. social) between-groups design. Significant main effects of ego depletion on feelings of energy and behavioural self-control were qualified by interactions. Individuals with a salient social identity reported lower energy and showed decreased persistence on a task of cognitive self-control when they were ego depleted compared to when they were not. There was no effect of ego depletion when personal identity was salient. These findings show that focusing on the self may help to overcome ego depletion effects. On the other hand, social identities may provide people with a resource to protect them from the shame of not meeting social standards, thereby reducing motivation to engage in self-control after depletion. The present research combines two large but hitherto unconnected literatures on self-regulation and social identity with a view to practical interventions to improve self-control ability.
Keyword willpower
identity salience
Ego depletion

 
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Created: Thu, 19 Jun 2014, 14:31:34 EST by Danico Jones on behalf of School of Psychology