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Ego Depletion: A Feeling-as-Information Perspective

Ego Depletion: A Feeling-as-Information Perspective

Coauthor(s): Charlene Y. Chen, and Keith Wilcox

Prior research on ego depletion has shown that exercising self-control on an initial task reduces self-control on a subsequent task. This research advances theory on ego depletion by offering a feelings-as-information perspective on how ego depletion functions. Specifically, the feeling of being depleted serves as a signal to reduce subsequent self-control. Hence, people who rely on their feelings as information are more likely to respond to this signal and are thus more susceptible to ego depletion. Whereas people who perceive their feelings as irrelevant are more likely to discount this signal and sustain self-control after being depleted. This research provides a unique theoretical contribution to ego depletion theory by illuminating the vital role the feeling of depletion plays in providing feedback to the self-control system and showing how the ego depletion effect can be moderated by people’s reliance on their feelings.

Exact Citation:
Charlene Y. Chen, and Keith Wilcox "Ego Depletion: A Feeling-as-Information Perspective." , Columbia Business School, (2013).
Date: 2013