Experiment on Ego Depletion

 

Write an assignment on Ego Depletion.

Introduction

Ego depletion is referred to like the idea that concern over self-control and the related mental-process requiring focused conscious effort that relies heavily on the energy being used up. In the case of low energy, the mental activity requiring self-control is usually impaired, or one can say that one's self-control impairs the ability to control one's self in the later period.  Therefore using this concept one can argue that approach of willpower is accurate. In an experiment on ego depletion, it was seen that the participants controlling their laughter while watching the performance of a comedian did horrible in the later tasks which required comparison of self-control as compared to the participants who did not control their laughter while watching the same video. 
Similar to various contemporary psychology concepts, the idea of self-control was reclassified by Freud when he established the analytic psychology field. Freud (1961) presented two ideas that had exceptional interest to our approach that were the pleasure and reality principle. The pleasure principle expressed that people are completely anxious with seeking for joy and evading dismay. This idea lies at the foundation of our biological and psychological beings. 
Although, people likewise have the foresight capacity, and human capacities can be worked outside the instincts realms. Freud then coined a second idea known as the reality principle—people consider reality, sometimes, transient dismay must be experienced for obtaining greater pleasures. Besides, Freud composed that "the sharp transition from pleasure principle towards the reality principle is a critical step forward in the development of ego (22:357). For instance, the capacity of delaying the gratification is an outcome of the same transition that takes from pleasure principle towards the reality principle (Mischel, 1995). 
A study by Vohs and Heatherton (2000) demonstrated that the activity of directing the intake of food can be undermined even with alluring snacks, particularly when the individual was encountering a condition of ego depletion. The study was performed between dieters and non-dieters and it depicted that both of these tried to suppress their emotions and response while watching the video. Various researches have demonstrated that the competitive mental determination could be hindered after the completion of difficult cognitive tasks higher than when performing an easy cognitive task (Dorris, Power, & Kenefick, 2012). This indicated that the ego depletion’s hindering effects could also be applied to the physical tasks along with cognitive tasks. Also, the consumers have been facing a lot of choices with various price ranges and different qualities of the product in the marketplace. The presence of varying options makes the consumers feel very overwhelmed and causes ego depletion in return (Baumeister, Sparks, Stillman, & Vohs, 2008, Hofmann, Strack, & Deutsch, 2008).
The limited willingness has explained the various case of failures of self-control for exerting self-control; and people also lack the motivation which can keep them exerting their self-control without any limitations (Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, & Tice, 1998; Inzlicht, & Schmeichel, 2012; Muraven, & Baumeister, 2000). Once people exert self-control on starting occasion like suppressing of emotions for being polite it is seen that people are not or less able to exert their self-control in another task like not buying a shoes for saving the money (Baumeister et al., 1998; Muraven, Tice, & Baumeister, 1998). The state resulting from the impairment of self-control after repeated exertion of self0cntrol has been termed as ego-depletion. This state has been referred to as a state where one has extremely low self-control resources (Baumeister et al., 1998; Muraven & Baumeister, 2000). Therefore, the term low self-control and ego-depletion can be used interchangeably.

Rationale

According to Baumeister and Vohs (2007), the decision-making process is directly linked to ego depletion, and they proved via a series of experiments. Further, the researches have stated that ego-depletion results from various self-control acts and have proved that this interferes with the decision-making the process of people by making them more passive in nature.  Further in an experiment where Baumeister, Bratslavsky, Muraven, & Tice (1998) asked the subjects to solve the puzzles he assumed that the subjects could recognize easily that the puzzles given to them were indeed unsolvable and hence they actively made the decision of not wasting much time on these puzzles.
However, these studies depicted that depletion affects the ability to make good decisions, but it is not clear whether the depletion further makes it harder for the people to make honest decisions or not. To verify this, an experiment can be conducted for testing the connection between depletion and honest decisions. This experiment can be conducted by splitting the participants into two group where they can be asked to solve a mathematical numerical from their textbook.  One of the group would be provided with the formula used for solving that particular numerical and the second group is asked to do it on their own. No doubt the ones given the formula would find it easy to easy to solve the query given to them. The participants without the formula may become slightly more depleted due to repression. 
In the second attempt, another multiple choice test must be prepared, and all the participants must be present in alone in the absence of other participants. The examiner present can give pre-marked questionnaire.  

Outcome

If the participants who were not provided with the formula are found to have similar answers as present in the pre-marked questionnaire and are found to have higher score as compared to the lot with given formula and opted answers other than present in the pre-marked questionnaire it can be seen the depletion might put us in compromising positions and also hampers the honesty of the person. The people with depletion might feel tempted to cheat and to compromise with the situation. This study can be highly beneficial in understanding the relation between depletion and honesty. And if there is a case when the capacity for exerting self-control might be impaired and also makes people vulnerable towards the effect as they are not predicting it. 
 

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References

Vohs, K. & Heatherton, T. (2000). Self-Regulatory Failure: A Resource-Depletion Approach. Psychological Science, 11(3), 249-254. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1467-9280.00250
Hofmann, W., Strack, F., & Deutsch, R. (2008). Free to buy? Explaining self-control and impulse in consumer behavior. Journal Of Consumer Psychology, 18(1), 22-26. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcps.2007.10.005
Dorris, D., Power, D., & Kenefick, E. (2012). Investigating the effects of ego depletion on physical exercise routines of athletes. Psychology Of Sport And Exercise, 13(2), 118-125. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psychsport.2011.10.004
Baumeister, R., Sparks, E., Stillman, T., & Vohs, K. (2008). Free will in consumer behavior: Self-control, ego depletion, and choice. Journal Of Consumer Psychology, 18(1), 4-13. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jcps.2007.10.002
Baumeister, R., Bratslavsky, E., Muraven, M., & Tice, D. (1998). Ego depletion: Is the active self a limited resource?. Journal Of Personality And Social Psychology, 74(5), 1252-1265. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.74.5.1252
Baumeister, R., Vohs, K., & Tice, D. (2007). The Strength Model of Self-Control. Current Directions In Psychological Science, 16(6), 351-355. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8721.2007.00534.x
FREUD, S. (1961). THE EGO AND THE ID. The American Journal Of The Medical Sciences, 5(1), 656. http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00000441-196111000-00027
Mischel, W. & Shoda, Y. (1995). A cognitive-affective system theory of personality: Reconceptualizing situations, dispositions, dynamics, and invariance in personality structure. Psychological Review, 102(2), 246-268. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0033-295x.102.2.246
Muraven, M. & Baumeister, R. (2000). Self-regulation and depletion of limited resources: Does self-control resemble a muscle?. Psychological Bulletin, 126(2), 247-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037//0033-2909.126.2.247

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