The regulatory easy street: Self-regulation below the self-control threshold does not consume regulatory resources
We present and test a theory in which self-control is distinguished from broader acts of self-regulation when it is both effortful and conscious. In two studies, we examined whether acts of behavioral management that do not require effort are exempt from resource depletion. In Study 1, we found that a self-regulation task only reduced subsequent self-control for participants who had previously indicated that completing the task would require effort. In Study 2, we found that participants who completed a self-regulation task for 2. min did not evidence the subsequent impairment in self-control evident for participants who had completed the task for 4 or more minutes. Our results support the notion that self-regulation without effort falls below the self-control threshold and has different downstream consequences than self-control. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
vanDellen, MR; Hoyle, RH; Miller, R
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