Archive for June, 2003

Willpower and Self-control, APA


The study conductor(s)top
Roy F. Baumeister, PhD, Eppes Professor of Psychology at Florida State University.
The participant(s)top
800 persons of mixed-gender, age, and race.
Date study concludedtop
June 1, 2003
Funded bytop
Florida State University
Purposetop

To determine if willpower can be modified, and how other behaviors effect the strength of the participants willpower.

Summarytop

The participants who either worked to train their “willpower”, or who expended little willpower are more likely to have impulse control and resist temptation. Willpower was discovered to be like a “gas tank” that can increase in capacity as an individual exercises willpower.

Methods usedtop

The study tested three theories on self-control. One theory treats self-control as a cognitive process, one as a learned skill and another as a behavior that requires willpower. Through a series of experiments with 800 participants, Baumeister used the theories to investigate the levels of energy required for exercising self-control and resisting temptationIn one of the experiments, participants who had skipped a meal were tempted with freshly baked cookies and chocolates. Some participants were instructed to resist the treats and instead eat radishes. They were then asked to complete an unsolvable geometric puzzle. In another experiment participants were instructed to control their emotional responses–by stifling or amplifying their reactions–as they viewed an upsetting video.

Resultstop

Those who resisted the treats tended to give up faster on the puzzle than participants who were allowed to indulge in the temptation or who had not been tempted with any food. Baumeister believes that they gave up faster because they’d already expended energy exercising self-control. A similar pattern emerged in the other experiment in which participants were instructed to control their emotional responses–by stifling or amplifying their reactions–as they viewed an upsetting video. The researchers then gauged their physical stamina by testing how long they could squeeze a handgrip device. Participants who controlled their emotions tended to give up faster on the task compared with those who did not have to suppress or control their emotions while watching the video.

Notestop

[+] This study has been peer reviewed by the American Psychological Association and Florida State University.
[-] The first study’s results may be due to the lack of glucose provided by radishes that could lead to giving up on the puzzles sooner, as the brain uses glucose as a primary source of fuel.

External Sourcestop
http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun03/selfcontrol.aspx
APA Citation(s)top
Willpower and Self-control, APA. (2003).
   Retrieved August 16, 2017, from Public Studies Web site:
   http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2003/06/197/
MLA Citation(s)top
“Willpower and Self-control, APA”
   Public Studies. 1 June 2003.
   August 16, 2017. <http://www.publicstudies.com/main/2003/06/197/>.