Eliminating Depletion Effects

Wen (Echo) Wan, Norhtwestern University
Brian Sternthal, Northwestern University

Regulating the Depletion Effect


Wen Wan

Brian Sternthal

Department of Marketing

Kellogg School of Management

Northwestern University

A depletion effect is a repeated finding in self-regulation research. Respondents who perform an effortful self-regulatory task exhibit less self-control on a subsequent unrelated persistence task than those performing a less arduous self-regulatory task. We report three studies that replicate this effect and extend it by showing that the depletion effect is eliminated when respondents are cognizant of the resources they have allocated to the persistence task, have a high degree of self-awareness, and have limited opportunity to get feedback about their resource allocation. We interpret these results in terms of a monitoring process (Carver and Scheier 1998).

[ to cite ]:
Wen (Echo) Wan and Brian Sternthal (2006) ,"Eliminating Depletion Effects", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 33, eds. Connie Pechmann and Linda Price, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 244-245.