Term of Award

Spring 2019

Degree Name

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

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

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 H. Wilson

Committee Member 1

Amy A. Hackney

Committee Member 2

Ryan Couillou


Ego depletion theory states that self-control is tied to a limited resource and diminishes after repeated exertions; consequently, the current study sought to examine how to replenish self-control through touch. Due to the positive outcomes of touch, we expected touch to allow participants to persist longer on a geometric tracing puzzle task after becoming ego depleted. The current study implemented measures widely used in the ego depletion literature, and the experimenter implemented two brief touches to examine the effects of touch in the domain of self-control. We found that participants who received touch persisted significantly longer on the geometric tracing puzzle task than participants who did not receive a touch. As such, the current study supports touch as an effective buffer against ego depletion. The mechanism for buffering may tie with expressive touch used by the experimenter, which likely motivated participants to persist in the subsequent self-control task.

OCLC Number


Research Data and Supplementary Material