Journal article

Comparing cognitive load and self-regulatory depletion: Effects on emotions and cognitions

Heather M Maranges, Brandon J Schmeichel, Roy F Baumeister

LEARNING AND INSTRUCTION | PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD | Published : 2017

Abstract

Prior research has found both similar and different effects of self-regulatory resource depletion and cognitive load. To resolve these seeming contradictions, we experimentally compared the effects of cognitive load and self-regulatory depletion. Ego depletion led participants to pay more attention to pain and to persist less on a pain test, whereas load had opposite effects (Study 1). Load distracted people from processing and reacting to negative emotional content of pictures (Study 2), and boosted positive feelings even without an overt emotion induction (Study 3), whereas depletion did not change how people felt relative to control. Depletion and load had equivalent null effects on visua..

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