Taking the 'Power' out of Willpower: An investigation into contemporary theories of self-control
Edward Heywood-Everett dissertation 2012.doc (368Kb)
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Self- control is essential for achievement and wellbeing. However, when used, the capacity for self-regulation is depleted and performance in subsequent self-control tasks is decreased. The dominant theory on willpower uses the analogy of self-control as a muscle that you can train, that gets tired, and uses carbohydrates as a fuel. The present study investigates claims that this model is incorrect by replicating research looking at how implicit theories of willpower can negate self-control depletion and also looking into control strategies used, when depleted. It was found that although the study could not be replicated, the results show that the strength model of self-control may not be as accurate as is required and that further research should be conducted investigating motivation-based models of self-control.