Six Questions for the Resource Model of Control (And Some Answers)
Inzlicht, M., & Berkman, E. Six questions for the resource model of control (and some answers). Social and Personality Psychology Compass, Forthcoming
14 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2015 Last revised: 6 Oct 2015
Date Written: March 17, 2015
The resource model of self-control casts self-control as a capacity that relies on some limited resource that exhausts with use. The model captured our imagination and brought much needed attention on an important, yet neglected psychological construct. Despite its success, basic issues with the model remain. Here, we ask six questions: (1) Does self-control really wane over time? (2) Is ego depletion a form of mental fatigue? (3) What is the resource that is depleted by ego depletion? (4) How can changes in motivation, perception, and expectations replenish an exhausted resource? (5) Has the revised resource model unwittingly become a model about motivation? (6) Do self-control exercises increase self-control? By providing some answers to these questions — including conducting a meta-analysis of the self-control training literature — we highlight how the resource model needs to be revised, if not supplanted altogether.
Keywords: self-control, ego depletion, resource model, motivation
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