Journal article

Increasing self-regulatory strength can reduce the depleting effect of suppressing stereotypes

Matthew T Gailliot, E Ashby Plant, David A Butz, Roy F Baumeister

PERSONALITY AND SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY BULLETIN | SAGE PUBLICATIONS INC | Published : 2007

Abstract

Three longitudinal studies and one correlational study tested the hypothesis that increasing self-regulatory strength by regular self-regulatory exercise would reduce the intrapsychic costs of suppressing stereotypes. Participants tried to resist using stereotypes while describing or talking to a stimulus person. Participants whose habitual motivation to suppress stereotypes was low exhibited impaired Stroop and anagram performance after the suppression task, presumably because of self-regulatory depletion (i.e., a reduction of self-regulatory strength following prior use). Two weeks of self-regulation exercises (such as using one's nondominant hand or refraining from cursing) eliminated thi..

View full abstract