Self-Affirmation and Self-Control: Affirming Core Values Counteracts Ego Depletion

Brandon J. Schmeichel, Kathleen D. Vohs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

319 Scopus citations

Abstract

Research has established that acts of self-control deplete a resource required for subsequent self-control tasks. The present investigation revealed that a psychological intervention-self-affirmation-facilitates self-control when the resource has been depleted. Experiments 1 and 2 found beneficial effects of self-affirmation on self-control in a depleted state. Experiments 3 and 4 suggested that self-affirmation improves self-control by promoting higher levels (vs. lower levels) of mental construal. Self-affirmation therefore holds promise as a mental strategy that reduces the likelihood of self-control failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-782
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Volume96
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2009

Keywords

  • construal level
  • ego depletion
  • self-affirmation
  • self-control
  • self-regulation

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