Ego depletion and action initiation

Englert, Christoph; Bertrams, Alex (15 July 2015). Ego depletion and action initiation (Unpublished). In: 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) - Sport psychology-theories and applicationes for performance, health and humanity. Bern. 14.-19.07.2015.

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Optimal sprint start performance requires the self-control of responses. Therefore, start performance should depend on self-control strength. It was expected that momentary depletion of self-control strength (ego depletion) would slow down the initiation of a sprint start, resulting in impaired reaction times. N = 37 participants performed three sprint starts at T1 and the average reaction times were measured with a foot-pressure release system attached under the starting block (in ms). Next, participants were randomly assigned to a depletion or a non-depletion condition and self-control strength was experimentally manipulated by applying the transcription task. Following the depletion manipulation, participants performed another series of three sprints (T2). The results of a mixed between (ego depletion: yes vs. no) within (T1 vs. T2) ANOVA supported the hypothesis as average reaction times in the depletion condition significantly increased from T1 (M = 0.35, SD = 0.03) to T2 (M = 0.38, SD = 0.04), F(1, 35) = 6.77, p = .01, η2p = .16. Average reaction times in the non-depletion condition did not differ significantly between T1 (M = 0.36, SD = 0.03) and T2 (M = 0.35, SD = 0.04), F(1, 35) = 0.47, p = .50, η2p = .01. In line with the hypothesis, higher levels of self-control strength were associated with quicker movement initiations. Therefore, improving self-control strength may serve as a buffer against the negative effects of ego depletion on performance.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


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

UniBE Contributor:

Englert, Christoph, Bertrams, Alexander Gregor


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Christoph Englert

Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2015 09:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:48


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