The Sprinter Effect: When Involvement and Self-Control Fail to Overcome Ego-Depletion



This research examines the joint effect of dispositional self-control and situational involvement on ego-depletion and on subsequent performance in consumption-related tasks. Contrary to past studies which have shown that involvement or self-control, separately, help cope with ego-depletion, this research contends that being both highly involved and having high self-control does not lead to an additive effect but rather jeopardizes one's ability to overcome ego-depletion, resulting in poorer performance on subsequent consumption activities. We term this the “sprinter effect”. Four studies in both lab and field settings demonstrate this phenomenon and determine its boundary conditions.
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Dr. B. Donkers