Martin S. Hagger (Curtin University & University of Jyväskylä) : Ego-Depletion and Self-Control: Theory, Mechanisms, Replication, and Implications
Date et lieu : mercredi 19 septembre à 11h
Self-control reflects individuals’ capacity to control impulses, break habits, resist temptations, and persist with effortful goal-directed behavior. A number of perspectives on self-control have been proposed, such as those focusing on individual difference ‘trait’ conceptualizations, and those focusing on task demands, and resource availability. In this presentation I will outline research on self-control and its relation to behavior, particularly health-related behavior. I will focus on one particular conceptualization of self-control, known as the resource or ‘strength’ model, and the effects of short term ‘depletion’ of self-control capacity, known as ‘ego-depletion’. The ego-depletion effect has been celebrated and much maligned in equal measure. I will outline the chequered history of the ego-depletion effect and ‘strength’ model of self-control from its inception and rise as a dominant effect in psychology, to concerns over its replicability and the explanatory value and validity of strength model claims. I will outline the basic ideas behind the effect and its origins, typical means to test and measure it, competing explanations, and controversies and questions over its existence. In particular, I will draw from cumulative evidence from numerous meta-analyses of the effect and a recent multi-lab replication. I will also outline how responses to the replication has served to catalyze new research and replications efforts toward moving the field forward. I will also outline some field research conducted on ego-depletion in health behaviour such as dieting and smoking which demonstrates the potential utility of the effect in ‘real world’ contexts. I will argue that some of the consistent evidence for ego-depletion has been found in such applied contexts, particularly for appetitive, rewarding behaviours. I will use this as a basis to suggests future directions for research.