Research Output

Is the letter cancellation task a suitable index of ego-depletion? Empirical and conceptual issues

  The aim was to quantify ego depletion and measure its effect on inhibitory control. Adults (N = 523) received the letter “e” cancellation ego depletion task and were subsequently tested on Stroop task performance. Difficulty of the cancellation task was systematically manipulated by modifying the text from semantically meaningful to non-meaningful sentences and words (Experiment 1) and by increasing ego depletion rule complexity (Experiment 2). Participants’ performance was affected by both text and rule manipulations. There was no relation between ego depletion task performance and subsequent Stroop performance. Thus, irrespective of the difficulty of the ego depletion task, Stroop performance was unaffected. The widely used cancellation task may not be a suitable inducer of ego depletion if ego depletion is considered as a lack of inhibitory control.

  • Type:

    Article

  • Date:

    05 November 2019

  • Publication Status:

    Published

  • Publisher

    Hogrefe

  • DOI:

    10.1027/1864-9335/a000393

  • ISSN:

    1864-9335

  • Funders:

    Historic Funder (pre-Worktribe)

Citation

Wimmer, M. C., Dome, L., Hancock, P. J., & Wennekers, T. (2019). Is the letter cancellation task a suitable index of ego-depletion? Empirical and conceptual issues. Social Psychology, 50, 345-354. https://doi.org/10.1027/1864-9335/a000393

Authors

Keywords

ego depletion, inhibitory control, letter cancellation, replication, conceptual questions

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