The role of implicit affective responses and trait self-control in ego resource management

Jacek Buczny*, Rebekah L. Layton, Mark Muraven

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Exertion of self-control requires reliance on ego resources. Impaired performance typically results once those resources have been depleted by previous use. Yet the mechanism behind the depletion processes is little understood. Beliefs, motivation, and physiological changes have been implicated, yet the source behind these remains unknown. We propose that implicit may form the fundamental building blocks that these processes rely upon to operate. Implicit affective responses to energy may trigger management of ego resources after depletion. Findings suggest that inhibitory trait self-control may interact with the depletion effect, indicating the importance of taking individual differences in chronic availability of ego-resources into account. After depletion, individuals high in trait self-control may be less motivated to conserve remaining resources than those low in self-control. This mechanism may also help explain the conservation of resources observed when expecting multiple tasks requiring self-control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)669-679
Number of pages11
JournalMotivation and Emotion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2015


  • Affect
  • Depletion
  • Resource conservation
  • Self-control


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