A Multisite Preregistered Paradigmatic Test of the Ego-Depletion Effect

Kathleen D. Vohs*, Brandon J. Schmeichel, Sophie Lohmann, Quentin F. Gronau, Anna J. Finley, Sarah E. Ainsworth, Jessica L. Alquist, Michael D. Baker, Ambra Brizi, Angelica Bunyi, Grant J. Butschek, Collier Campbell, Jonathan Capaldi, Chuting Cau, Heather Chambers, Nikos L.D. Chatzisarantis, Weston J. Christensen, Samuel L. Clay, Jessica Curtis, Valeria De CristofaroKareena del Rosario, Katharina Diel, Yasemin Doğruol, Megan Doi, Tina L. Donaldson, Andreas B. Eder, Mia Ersoff, Julie R. Eyink, Angelica Falkenstein, Bob M. Fennis, Matthew B. Findley, Eli J. Finkel, Victoria Forgea, Malte Friese, Paul Fuglestad, Natasha E. Garcia-Willingham, Lea F. Geraedts, Will M. Gervais, Mauro Giacomantonio, Bryan Gibson, Karolin Gieseler, Justina Gineikiene, Elana M. Gloger, Carina M. Gobes, Maria Grande, Martin S. Hagger, Bethany Hartsell, Anthony D. Hermann, Jasper J. Hidding, Edward R. Hirt, Josh Hodge, Wilhelm Hofmann, Jennifer L. Howell, Robert D. Hutton, Michael Inzlicht, Lily James, Emily Johnson, Hannah L. Johnson, Sarah M. Joyce, Yannick Joye, Jan Helge Kaben, Lara K. Kammrath, Caitlin N. Kelly, Brian L. Kissell, Sander L. Koole, Anand Krishna, Christine Lam, Kelemen T. Lee, Nick Lee, Dana C. Leighton, David D. Loschelder, Heather M. Maranges, E. J. Masicampo, Kennedy Mazara, Samantha McCarthy, Ian McGregor, Nicole L. Mead, Wendy B. Mendes, Carine Meslot, Nicholas M. Michalak, Marina Milyavskaya, Akira Miyake, Mehrad Moeini-Jazani, Mark Muraven, Erin Nakahara, Krishna Patel, John V. Petrocelli, Katja M. Pollak, Mindi M. Price, Haley J. Ramsey, Maximilian Rath, Jacob A. Robertson, Rachael Rockwell, Isabella F. Russ, Marco Salvati, Blair Saunders, Anne Scherer, Astrid Schütz, Kristin N. Schmitt, Suzanne C. Segerstrom, Benjamin Serenka, Konstantyn Sharpinskyi, Meaghan Shaw, Janelle Sherman, Yu Song, Nicholas Sosa, Kaitlyn Spillane, Julia Stapels, Alec J. Stinnett, Hannah R. Strawser, Kate Sweeny, Dominic Theodore, Karine Tonnu, Yasmijn van Oldenbeuving, Michelle R. vanDellen, Raiza C. Vergara, Jasmine S. Walker, Christian E. Waugh, Feline Weise, Kaitlyn M. Werner, Craig Wheeler, Rachel A. White, Aaron L. Wichman, Bradford J. Wiggins, Julian A. Wills, Janie H. Wilson, Eric Jan Wagenmakers, Dolores Albarracín

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


We conducted a preregistered multilaboratory project (k = 36; N = 3,531) to assess the size and robustness of ego-depletion effects using a novel replication method, termed the paradigmatic replication approach. Each laboratory implemented one of two procedures that was intended to manipulate self-control and tested performance on a subsequent measure of self-control. Confirmatory tests found a nonsignificant result (d = 0.06). Confirmatory Bayesian meta-analyses using an informed-prior hypothesis (δ = 0.30, SD = 0.15) found that the data were 4 times more likely under the null than the alternative hypothesis. Hence, preregistered analyses did not find evidence for a depletion effect. Exploratory analyses on the full sample (i.e., ignoring exclusion criteria) found a statistically significant effect (d = 0.08); Bayesian analyses showed that the data were about equally likely under the null and informed-prior hypotheses. Exploratory moderator tests suggested that the depletion effect was larger for participants who reported more fatigue but was not moderated by trait self-control, willpower beliefs, or action orientation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1566-1581
Number of pages16
JournalPsychological Science
Issue number10
Early online date14 Sep 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Roy Baumeister, Eddie Harmon-Jones, Rebecca Schlegel, Uri Simonsohn, Jake Westfall, and Wendy Wood for assistance.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2021.

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • ego depletion
  • open data
  • open materials
  • preregistered
  • registered replication
  • self-control


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