Some of the material in is restricted to members of the community. By logging in, you may be able to gain additional access to certain collections or items. If you have questions about access or logging in, please use the form on the Contact Page.
The ability to alter, regulate, or otherwise control one's own behavior is a valuable but limited human capacity. Good self-control facilitates success in life, but self-control attempts often fail. The present work examined two causes of self-control failure, divided attention and depleted self-control strength, and sought to demonstrate that these are closely related but separate causes of self-control failure. In Studies 1 and 2, controlling (vs. not controlling) attention at the start of the study reduced the ability to divide attention during a subsequent test of working memory, indicating that the ability to control attention relies on a depletable internal resource or strength. In Study 3, performing (vs. not performing) a test of divided attention impaired subsequent emotion suppression ability, indicating that the act of dividing attention depletes the same strength that underlies dissimilar forms of self-control. In Study 4, regulating (vs. not regulating) emotional expression reduced subsequent pain tolerance, but concurrent divided attention did not reduce pain tolerance, indicating that divided attention and depleted strength have different effects on behavior. The findings converge to show that divided attention and self-control strength are related but distinct determinants of the capacity for self-control.
Working Memory, Ego Depletion, Executive Function, Self
Date of Defense
May 20, 2005.
A Dissertation Submitted to the Department of Psychology in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Roy F. Baumeister, Professor Directing Dissertation; Eddy Nahmias, Outside Committee Member; Dianne M. Tice, Committee Member; Jon K. Maner, Committee Member; Colleen M. Kelley, Committee Member.
Florida State University
Use and Reproduction
This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s). The copyright in theses and dissertations completed at Florida State University is held by the students who author them.