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Self-regulation and choice : the depleting effects of choosing for self versus other Rawn, Catherine Dianne

Abstract

Choosing for the self depletes self-regulatory resources, impairing the ability to exert self-control subsequently (Vohs, Baumeister, Twenge et al., 2005). The current study examined the effect of choosing for others. Because people with interdependent self-construals privilege interpersonal relationships, Asian-Canadians, but not European-Canadians, were expected to experience greater depletion after choosing for others than after choosing for the self, relative to not making choices. Participants made paint color choices from over 200 options while imagining redecorating a room for self or other. Control condition participants simply perused the same options. Persistence on a subsequent math task indexed depletion. A s predicted, European-Canadians choosing for self persisted less than those in the other two conditions. Unexpectedly, Asian-Canadians' persistence was unaffected by the manipulation.

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