Ego Depletion: The Strength Model

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Introduction You have a deadline to complete an assessment, but you also want to watch a new movie, and it is taking all your strength to deflect this desire and continue with the assignment. This type of overriding cognitive thoughts and emotions and behaviour is what is known as self-control, the mechanism we use everyday to regulate our behaviour and impulses to be in line with our standards and goals. In this respect we can assume that without the ability to effectively control our impulsions we would succumb to negative behaviours that conflict with our standards and morale. For example, it has been shown that negative behaviours leading to an unhealthy lifestyle such as addiction, and binge eating can be attributed to lower levels of…show more content…
practice self-control (Baumeister et al., 2007). The strength model is a popular theory that parallels ego depletion to physical activity, suggesting that self-control requires an energy resource, can be: strained and strengthened, and that the energy resource needs to be restored before optimal and self-control can occur (Baumeister et al., 2007; Muraven & Baumeister, 2000). This theory also intertwines the limited resource model, identifying self-control as a system in which every self-control task consumes the energy reserve and thus ensuing self-control tasks will have a limited supply of the energy resource, therefore negatively impacting the efficiency of the subsequent task (Baumeister et al., 2007; Muraven & Baumeister, 2000; Muraven et al., 1998). In a study outlined by Baumeister et al. (2007) participants were subjected to either of two conditions, whilst watching an emotionally arousing film. The control group freely expressed their emotions whilst the experimental group supressed or heightened emotional responses. Participants in the experimental condition displayed a poorer result in the subsequent self-control task of handgrip than those in the control condition. Hence supporting the hypothesis of the limited resource model. Furthermore, a study conducted by Muraven, Baumeister, and Tice (as cited in Muraven & Baumeister, 2000) supported the claim…show more content…
Participants who were not colour blind were selected from sample age groups of teenagers (13-17 years), young adults (18-25 years), Adults (26-50 years) and elderly (60-85 years). In the control task participants had to correctly identify the colour of the word where the colour of the word and the word matched (e.g. blue coloured with blue ink). Participants then performed a self-control stroop task where the colour of the word was incongruent with the word (e.g. the word blue coloured yellow) and participants had to correctly identify the colour of the word. Subjects completed these tasks 3 days each week for three months. Participants completed the task in one block preventing adaption. Furthermore for each trial the arrangement of the words and colours was changed to control for participant memory. This present study aims to test the theory of training our brain to complete self-control tasks, reducing the amount of resource energy needed for that self-control task in the future and does the ability to train our brains for self control tasks stop at a particular age or is it more effective at certain
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