Aftereffects of Self-Control on Positive Emotional Reactivity. Academic Article uri icon


  • According to the process model of ego depletion, exercising self-control causes shifts in motivation and attention that may increase positive emotional reactivity. In an initial study and a preregistered replication, participants exercised self-control (or not) on a writing task before reporting their emotional responses to positive, negative, and neutral images. In Study 1 ( N = 256), we found that exercising (vs. not exercising) self-control increased positive emotional responses to positive images among more extroverted individuals. In Study 2 ( N = 301), we found that exercising self-control increased positive reactivity independent of extroversion. These findings support the process model of ego depletion and suggest that exercising self-control may influence responding that does not entail self-control (i.e., positive emotional reactivity)-an outcome that is not anticipated by the limited resource model of self-control.

published proceedings

  • Pers Soc Psychol Bull

altmetric score

  • 4.65

author list (cited authors)

  • Finley, A. J., & Schmeichel, B. J

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Finley, Anna J||Schmeichel, Brandon J

publication date

  • July 2019