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Ego Depletion Manipulations

Attention Control:
Using similar procedures as Gilbert et al. (1988), the attention control manipulation involves participants watching a 6-minute video clip (without audio) of a woman being interviewed by an off-camera interviewer. Participants are instructed that that they will later be making person-perception judgments of the interviewee because the experiment concerns nonverbal assessments of personality. In addition to the woman being interviewed, the tape shows a series of common one-syllable words (e.g., play) at the bottom of the screen for 10 s each. The words are printed in black, framed by a white background, and were confined to the bottom quarter of the screen. Thus, the words are readily apparent but did not dominate the main action on the screen. These words have no relationship to the woman being interviewed. Half of the participants are given no instructions regarding the irrelevant words, nor were they made aware of the words prior to viewing the video, whereas the other participants are instructed “not to read or look at any words that may appear on the screen.” Moreover, participants in the attention control condition are told to redirect their gaze to the woman being interviewed if they found themselves looking at the words.

The attention control video is available on YouTube (here) and for download (here).

Baumeister, R. F., Bratslavsky, E., Muraven, M., & Tice, D. M. (1998). Ego depletion: Is the active self a limited resource? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 1252-1265.

DeWall, C. N., Baumeister, R. F., Stillman, T. F., & Gailliot, M. T. (2007). Violence restrained: Effects of self-regulatory capacity and its depletion on aggressive behavior. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 43, 62-76.

Masicampo, E. J., & Baumeister, R. F. (2008). Toward a physiology of dual-process reasoning and judgment: Lemonade, willpower, and effortful rule-based analysis. Psychological Science, 19, 255-260.

Muraven, M., Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. (1998). Self-control as limited resource: Regulatory depletion patterns. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 74, 774-789.

Muraven, M.R., & Baumeister, R.F. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle? Psychological Bulletin, 126, 247-259.

Schmeichel, B. J., Vohs, K. D., & Baumeister, R. F. (2003). Intellectual performance and ego depletion: Role of the self in logical reasoning and other information processing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 33-46.

Vohs, K. D., & Schmeichel, B. J. (2003). Self-regulation and the extended now: Controlling the self alters the subjective experience of time. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 85, 217-230.

The articles are available for download here.