University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business

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Restoration effects following depletion: Adventures in the uncanny resilience of man.

Author(s): Edward Hirt, Joshua Clarkson, Patrick Egan, Julie Eyink

Status: Published
Year: 2016
Publication Name: Elselvier


Abstract

Past research on depletion has illustrated how prior exertion of self-control leads individuals to perform more poorly at subsequent self-control tasks. However, a number of recent studies have illustrated cases in which certain manipulations (e.g., positive mood, power, self-affirmation, meditation, exposure to nature) can ameliorate the effects of prior depletion and restore individuals' performance back to a level commensurate with non-depleted controls. Most of these demonstrations posit their own separate mechanisms for these restoration effects. In the present work, we present a model that attempts to account for the success of these diverse instances of restoration. The model emphasizes the role of expectancies derived from lay beliefs regarding the mental energy changes associated with various conditions, which affect perceptions of mental fatigue and its consequences for cognitive and behavioral performance. We present evidence from two lines of work investigating specific examples of restoration (positive mood, power) that provide support for our model and then discuss current and future work aimed at integrating these effects within a broader framework of self-regulation.


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