A temporary deficiency in self-control:can heightened motivation overcome this effect?

Kelly, Claire and Crawford, Trevor J. and Gowen, Emma and Richardson, Kelly and Sünram-Lea, Sandra I (2017) A temporary deficiency in self-control:can heightened motivation overcome this effect? Psychophysiology, 54 (5). pp. 773-779. ISSN 0048-5772

[thumbnail of Manuscript Claire L Kelly_First look revision (2)]
PDF (Manuscript Claire L Kelly_First look revision (2))
Manuscript_Claire_L_Kelly_First_look_revision_2_.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial.

Download (436kB)


Self-control is important for everyday life and involves behavioral regulation. Self-control requires effort, and when completing two successive self-control tasks, there is typically a temporary drop in performance in the second task. High self-reported motivation and being made self-aware somewhat counteract this effect-with the result that performance in the second task is enhanced. The current study explored the relationship between self-awareness and motivation on sequential self-control task performance. Before employing self-control in an antisaccade task, participants initially applied self-control in an incongruent Stroop task or completed a control task. After the Stroop task, participants unscrambled sentences that primed self-awareness (each started with the word "I") or unscrambled neutral sentences. Motivation was measured after the antisaccade task. Findings revealed that, after exerting self-control in the incongruent Stroop task, motivation predicted erroneous responses in the antisaccade task for those that unscrambled neutral sentences, and high motivation led to fewer errors. Those primed with self-awareness were somewhat more motivated overall, but motivation did not significantly predict antisaccade performance. Supporting the resource allocation account, if one was motivated-intrinsically or via the manipulation of self-awareness-resources were allocated to both tasks leading to the successful completion of two sequential self-control tasks.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Additional Information:
This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Kelly, C. L., Crawford, T. J., Gowen, E., Richardson, K. and Sünram-Lea, S. I. (2017), A temporary deficiency in self-control: Can heightened motivation overcome this effect?. Psychophysiol, 54: 773–779. doi:10.1111/psyp.12832 which has been published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/psyp.12832/abstract This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
06 Feb 2017 14:00
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 02:02