The effect of ego depletion on distractibility

Englert, Christoph; Bertrams, Alex; Furley, Philip; Oudejans, Raoul (15 July 2015). The effect of ego depletion on distractibility (Unpublished). In: 14th European Congress of Sport Psychology of the European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) - Sport psychology-teories and applications for performance, health and humanity. Bern. 14.-19.07.2015.

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Athletes in a state of ego depletion do not perform up to their capabilities in high pressure situations (e.g., Englert & Bertrams, 2012). We assume that momentarily available self-control strength determines whether individuals in high pressure situations can resist distracting stimuli. In the present study, we applied a between-subjects design, as 31 experienced basketball players were randomly assigned to a depletion group or a non-depletion group. Participants performed 30 free throws while listening to statements representing worrisome thoughts (as frequently experienced in high pressure situations; Oudejans, Kuijpers, Kooijman, & Bakker, 2011) over stereo headphones. Participants were instructed to block out these distracting audio messages and focus on the free throws. We postulated that depleted participants would be more likely to be distracted and would perform worse in the free throw task. The results supported our assumption as depleted participants paid more attention to the distracting stimuli and displayed worse performance in the free throw task. These results indicate that sufficient levels of self-control strength can serve as a buffer against increased distractibility under pressure. Implementing self-control trainings into workout routines may be a useful approach (e.g., Oaten & Cheng, 2007).

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 and Bertrams, Alexander Gregor


300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 370 Education




Christoph Englert

Date Deposited:

29 Jul 2015 09:32

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:48


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