Term of Award

Spring 2013

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 Wilson

Committee Member 1

Bradley Sturz

Committee Member 2

Jeff Klibert

Committee Member 3

Jeff Klibert


Exercising self-control depletes a finite resource of energy and reduces the ability to control behavior on subsequent tasks. Baumeister and others refer to the attenuation of self-regulation as ego depletion. Recent research has successfully utilized computer based depletion manipulations and measures. Previous research has focused on depletion tasks and measures in a laboratory setting, but no known research has extended ego depletion research to the online environment. The present study attempted to manipulate and measure ego-depletion through an online medium. We hypothesized that participants in the online experimental condition would perform significantly worse on two measures of depletion than participants in the depletion control or empty control condition. Further, we examined the potential for an order effect of depletion measures. Despite using research-supported manipulations and measures of ego-depletion, we found no evidence of depleted states in participants who were randomly assigned to the experimental condition. Further, our results did indicate a main effect of dependent-variable order. In this experiment, completing the first dependent variable did have a significant impact on performance during the second dependent variable.

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Psychology Commons