Ego depletion in color priming research: Self-control strength moderates the detrimental effect of red on cognitive test performance

Bertrams, Alex; Baumeister, R.F.; Englert, Christoph; Furley, P. (2015). Ego depletion in color priming research: Self-control strength moderates the detrimental effect of red on cognitive test performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 41(3), pp. 311-322. Sage 10.1177/0146167214564968

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Colors have been found to affect psychological functioning. Empirical evidence suggests that, in test situations, brief perceptions of the color red or even the word "red" printed in black ink prime implicit anxious responses and consequently impair cognitive performance. However, we propose that this red effect depends on people's momentary capacity to exert control over their prepotent responses (i.e., self-control). In three experiments (Ns = 66, 78, and 130), first participants' self-control strength was manipulated. Participants were then primed with the color or word red versus gray prior to completing an arithmetic test or an intelligence test. As expected, self-control strength moderated the red effect. While red had a detrimental effect on performance of participants with depleted self-control strength (ego depletion), it did not affect performance of participants with intact self-control strength. We discuss implications of the present findings within the current debate on the robustness of priming results

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education > Educational Psychology
07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Education

UniBE Contributor:

Bertrams, Alexander Gregor and Englert, Christoph

Subjects:

300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education

ISSN:

0146-1672

Publisher:

Sage

Language:

English

Submitter:

Alexander Gregor Bertrams-Pencik

Date Deposited:

08 May 2015 14:24

Last Modified:

19 Jul 2018 11:06

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0146167214564968

PubMed ID:

25567999

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.68102

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/68102

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