Hold your strength! - The influence of motivation, attention and emotion on self-control performance

Stocker, Eva; Englert, Chris; Seiler, Roland (22 June 2018). Hold your strength! - The influence of motivation, attention and emotion on self-control performance. Journal of sport & exercise psychology, 40(S1), S119-S120. Human Kinetics Publishers

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In sport and exercise contexts, it is highly important to control one’s impulses and behavioural tendencies to meet specific goals. However, such self-control acts do not always successfully work (Englert, 2016). One of the most prominent self-control models is the strength model of self-control (Baumeister, 2002), while an alternative explanation for self-control lapses derives from the process model of self-control (Inzlicht, Schmeichel, & Macrae, 2014). Some argue that self-control failures are due to shifts in attention, motivation, and emotion following a primary self-control task. Thus far, this model has not undergone rigorous empirical testing. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of attention, motivation and emotion as psychological mediators involved in the relationship between self-control and physical endurance performance (N = 70). Self-control was manipulated via a transcription task (Bertrams, Englert, & Dickhäuser, 2010). The non-depletion group (n = 34) had to transcribe a text conventionally, whereas the depletion group (n = 36) also had to omit the letters ‘e’ and ‘n’, which requires self-control to overcome writing habits. Before and after the self-control manipulation, participants performed an isometric biceps-contraction endurance task. This task required the participants to hold for as long as possible at least 60% of their maximum strength, which was displayed as visual feedback on a computer screen. Changes in motivation (Hutchinson et al., 2011; Ryan, 1982) and emotion (Positive and Negative Affect Scale; Watson, Clark, & Tellegen, 1988) were assessed via self-report questionnaires before and after the isometric contraction. Changes in attention (attentional shifts) were assessed with an eye-tracking device via the percentage of viewing time to relevant (visual-feedback screen) or irrelevant (second distracting-picture screen) stimuli. Preliminary analyses indicate self-control has a significant direct effect on physical performance through changes in motivation, emotion, and attention.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW)
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Sport Science (ISPW) > Sport Science II [discontinued]

UniBE Contributor:

Stocker, Eva, Englert, Christoph, Seiler, Roland


700 Arts > 790 Sports, games & entertainment
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Human Kinetics Publishers




Eva Stocker

Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2019 14:52

Last Modified:

02 Mar 2023 23:31

Uncontrolled Keywords:

self-control, process model, physical activity, psychological variables





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