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Willpower and ego depletion: Useful constructs?

Dubner, David (2016) Willpower and ego depletion: Useful constructs? Counseling & Wellness: A Professional Counseling Journal, 5.

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It is widely recognized that the ability to exert will and defy the temptation of short-term rewards in favor of long term goals has many significant implications and is predictive of increased well-being across many domains. The American Psychological Association characterizes willpower as “the psychological science of self-control”, and their recent survey regarding Americans’ perception of their own self-control, cited the lack of will-power as the primary reason they fail to follow through with making healthy life-style changes. The “strength” model of self-control conceptualizes willpower as a limited resource which cannot be sustained indefinitely. According to the model, expending effort to exert self-control results in a reduced ability for individuals to exert self-control in a subsequent task—a psychological state known as ego depletion. Numerous investigations have replicated this effect across multiple domains and have also examined the influence of variables that moderate ego depletion. However, recent regression analyses have strongly suggested that the effect size for ego depletion is substantially smaller than was originally computed. In addition, despite widespread acceptance in both the popular press and the scientific study of psychology, the strength model has come under criticism that it has evolved into an over-reaching and unfalsifiable theory that should be subsumed under a more comprehensive theory of self-control that integrates traditional influences on self-control, including motivation, learning, and self- efficacy.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Counseling & Wellness: A Professional Counseling Journal is published annually and dedicated to publishing refereed articles related to professional counseling in general and issues and counseling approaches that focus on wellness and personal adjustment. Publication priority was given to current Masters and Doctoral students from CACREP-accredited Counseling Programs with active Chi Sigma Iota Chapters Counseling & Wellness: A Professional Counseling Journal is the official publication of the Beta Alpha Chapter of Chi Sigma Iota at Northern Arizona University.
Keywords: wellness, willpower, ego-depletion
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Department/Unit: Journals > Counseling and Wellness Journal
Date Deposited: 08 Feb 2016 21:44
URI: http://openknowledge.nau.edu/id/eprint/2338

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