Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ego Depletion Depleted

RealClearScience has a fascinating article about another important psychological theory that has been called into serious question as a result of a several failed replication efforts.  The theory under attack is known as the "ego depletion" phenomena and it states, basically, that exerting will power depletes and tires out our ability to use it in the near term, thus rendering us susceptible to a variety of cognitive weaknesses and errors.  From the article:
"There was no evidence for significant depletion effects in any of these four studies," the researchers found.
The researchers don't believe their results are in error. The tasks they used were identical to those most frequently employed in past research, and they also used similar sample sizes. In fact, the researchers suggest their study design may be stronger, because, unlike many previous studies which found evidence for ego depletion, they used a control group and recruited subjects from a broader population.
Click here to read more about this important topic and also to access articles on another psychological theory that has been hit recently -- priming effects.