Term of Award

Summer 2015

Degree Name

Master of Science in Experimental Psychology (M.S.)

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (restricted to Georgia Southern)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Psychology

Committee Chair

Janie Wilson

Committee Member 1

Shauna Joye

Committee Member 2

Jessica Brooks


The theory of ego depletion views the capacity for self-control as a finite internal resource that declines with continual use. As the levels of this resource decline, performance within a host of domains is impaired, resulting in negative behavioral outcomes. Previous studies have sought to find ways to address the decline in the self-control resource and the accompanying reduction in performance in a variety of different ways. One method that has been found to be effective in reducing ego depletion is the use of humor, specifically the viewing of humorous videos following an ego-depleting task. However, prevention of ego depletion using humor prior to an ego-depleting task has not been examined. In the current study, a humorous video was used in an attempt to reduce the effects of ego depletion relative to a control condition viewing a neutral video. The video was seen either before the ego-depletion task (prevention) or after the ego-depletion task (reparation). It was expected that the humorous video would buffer against ego depletion when shown regardless of whether participants viewed the video before or after the ego-depletion task. Although the humorous video did not alter ego depletion, mood was enhanced relative to the neutral-video condition.